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Apartment Buildings or Privately Owned Apartments?

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The Pros and Cons of large versus small apartment buildings.

When choosing your apartment, it’s essential to consider more than just the interior. What kind of apartment buildings you lease from matters too, and there are many different kinds of landlord tenant arrangements. The two primary kinds of apartment buildings in New York are either large apartment buildings, or those in private homes.

Amazing apartments can come in either type of building. The lovely garden apartments of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens are in private homes, while balconies and roof decks with sweeping city views are found in larger buildings.

From the huge, multi unit buildings to three story houses with an apartment on each floor, there are benefits and pitfalls to each building size. Here are some pros and cons of each.

Rent Stabilization

While rent control regulations are going the way of urban myth and legend, with very few rent control apartments left in the city of New York, rent stabilized apartments are still available in many buildings. To qualify for rent stabilization, a rental apartment building must have more than 6 units, be built before 1974, and the rent must be less than $2,774.76 if the tenant moved into the building before December 31, 2018. This scale shows the amount of rent that must not be exceeded depending on when the tenant moved into the apartment. If an apartment is rent stabilized, the rent can only be raised a specific percentage each year, as determined by the State Assembly, with input from NYC tenant associations. If you want to know if your apartment is either rent stabilized or if rent stabilization is allowable in your building, check out Am I Rent Stabilized.

Private Landlords and Rent Increases

Private landlords can raise the rent by whatever amount they wish, but you can always negotiate that amount. You can try to negotiate a schedule of rent increases before you sign the lease, but most private landlords will try to avoid this in order to retain their ability to raise rents based on property tax increases, repairs, or any other reason. A big difference, however, between private, small property landlords and large, multi unit, multi property owners, is that the latter tent to have attorneys on retainer, who are willing to draft enforcement paperwork whenever requested. Additionally, they have realtors, often in house, who are able to show apartments and handle turnover quickly. Private landlords typically engage realtors and dive into the rental process only when they have vacancies.

Landlord Tenant Relationship

While there may be many benefits to large apartment buildings, including the potential for a rent stabilized apartment, there are benefits to leasing from a private owner as well. Often the monthly rent will be less than in larger buildings, you will have a more personal relationship with your landlord, and the landlord needs your tenancy as much as you need their rental home. When you live in an apartment in a private home, you will most likely have a closer relationship with your landlord. If they live on site, you’ll be sharing the home with the owners. In large buildings, you may never even know who your landlord is. The entire landlord tenant relationship may be entirely conducted through rent bills and payments. Many landlords employ management companies to be their representative. This means that any rules or policies that are in place to dictate rental and tenancy practices may be more stringent, with less room for negotiation or consideration that an individual, private landlord may be willing to engage in.

Maintenance

If the apartment building has an onsite superintendent, repairs may be speedily made. A superintendent or maintenance crew that either lives on site or is on call for the building is a definite pro in the large building column. Imagine living in a small building with three units where the landlord is not on site. Here’s how it will most likely go down when you wake up on Thursday morning to a frigid apartment. You reach out to your landlord and let them know what’s up, hit the gym just for the showers, and head off to work. A day or so later the plumber comes, explains that the pipes have frozen and burst, and schedules the work. It becomes clear when the he comes back the next day or the following that the work is going to be a while, require extra parts, etc.

Poorly maintained pipes deep under the sidewalk could send you seeking shelter somewhere else. Where private landlords may have delays due to difficulties scheduling busy repair companies, an on site super who is attentive to resident needs can mean the difference between a plumbing emergency, and camping out at a hotel for the weekend.

Security

In large apartment buildings, there is a barrier between your home and the outside world. Whether an extra set of doors, security cameras, a security guard, or a doorman, there’s an extra buffer beyond just your front door. This doesn’t mean that they are safer necessarily, but it does mean that they might feel safer. In private homes, there are not typically these kinds of security measures. However, private landlords can put security measures in place, from alarms or cameras to strong lock systems and motion sensitive lighting. When figuring out how to weigh security concerns, it’s important to consider your own comfort level, and the needs of your family and housemates.

Deliveries to private homes do not always have a secure place to land. In small buildings, when none of the residents are home, there’s no one to accept packages. If you’re one of the many who order half their life online, it can be disconcerting to know that your new gear is waiting unattended at your front door. Having someone to accept packages in the building, or a secure place for deliverers to leave them, can really take the edge off.

There are pros and cons to private homes and managed buildings. The key is knowing what you want. Whichever kind of rental agreement you enter into, the main thing is that you are comfortable in your home, and feel like it’s a place you can relax and shut out the influences of the outside world when you need to.

Be Heard at Go Home NY

Be heard! Leave your apartment, condo, and coop building reviews at Go Home NY! Know a building's managers are awful? Have the inside line on a perfect building? Anything in between? Express your voice and be heard. Leave a review at Go Home NY.

Be Heard at Go Home NY

Be heard! Leave your apartment, condo, and coop building reviews at Go Home NY! Know a building's managers are awful? Have the inside line on a perfect building? Anything in between? Express your voice and be heard. Leave a review at Go Home NY.

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