Renovation of buildings, and even apartments, in New York City is something that you will experience at least once in your life, especially if you live in an older building. Unfortunately, this usually means that you’ll pay more to rent your apartment whether you accept the renovation or not since with any sort of renovation the property becomes more valuable and can command higher rents.
For example, a friend of mine was living in Tribeca and renting from a very generous landlord. Even though the apartment was not rent-controlled, she was paying less than the average cost of renting for the area.
When the building was bought by a new investment group, they made a decision to renovate the entire building, her apartment included, and told her she could either have her apartment renovated and pay an extra $850 a month or stay in the apartment for another year without renovating it and pay an extra $550 per month.
Understandably, the investment group wanted to make money on their new investment. That’s their job. But for my friend, this was a really awful situation as she would either have to move out or inevitably pay a much higher price for the exact same apartment.
What should you do if this happens to you? The first thing is to make sure that you’re not living in a rent-stabilized apartment since landlords are not legally required to tell you if your apartment falls under a rent stabilization agreement. However, if you discover the apartment is stabilized and you were not informed of the rent increase and given a new contract then your landlord could owe you some serious money.
If you can afford the rent increase then now might be the perfect time to renovate your apartment. Having a new kitchen and bathroom and a nice paint job will just make your apartment even more enjoyable. The thought of moving out and having to find another home is always overwhelming.
What’s more, New York City law states that the interiors of apartments must be painted every three years. This renovation presents a great opportunity for a new painting. Whatever you decide, to stay in your apartment or move to a new one, it will be your home and you should do your best to make it as comfortable and cheerful as possible, renovation or no renovation.