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Fair trade, but here's why it may not work

Posted by Philosopher Ted on September 23, 2000 at 23:27:10:

In Reply to: Paint for Heat... even trade? posted by C. Edward on September 23, 2000 at 19:47:05:

: (NYC rent stab. tenement ap't.)

NYC rent stab says it all right there. What you are proposing seems to be a fair, common sense solution to this problem. Unfortunetly, the rent stabilization law are written to force the landlord/tenant into an adversarial relationship, instead of a customer/business arrangement as in other cities. In another post you stated that your rent is $300 less than when you moved in and apparently hasn't increased in six years. Do you think your landlord can make any profit renting apartments in this way ? Only by cutting back on building maintainance and services.

Another important drawback to rent stabilized leases is that all terms of your lease are set by the city government -- NOT via negotiation between you and the LL. The law essentially assumes you are stupid or incapable of deciding what you want. "Tenant activists" consider this a victory becuase they can try to use political force to keep well connected long-time residents in apartments with ridiculously low rents. But the result such an arrangement is to elevate almost any simple dispute into a full blown landlord/tenant lawsuit, and, as you've said, ordinary people have better things to do than fight in court all day.

Your idea is a sensible one and you have nothing to lose by proposing it. But realize that you're up against a lot more than your landlord. You're challenging a city culture with five decades of housing mismanagement and all the resulting problems that has created. Best of luck.

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