Tenant orders his 2-bedroom apartment rent history

@drakepooley/TikTok

‘How can we get rent control’: Tenant orders his 2-bedroom apartment rent history. It jumped straight from $193 to $3,500

‘No way your takeaway was “people shouldn’t be paying this little” after seeing this.’

 

Jack Alban

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It’s no secret that living in New York costs a pretty penny but TikToker Drake Pooley (@drakepooley) discovered just how expensive it is after he ordered the rent history for his 2-bedroom apartment in the West Village.

He posted his findings in a viral TikTok that’s accrued over 158,000 views on the popular social media platform.

@drakepooley Order your rent history from the department of housing if you want the tea 🍵 #nyc #nycapartment #newyork ♬ Storytelling – Adriel

Drake says in the video, “I live in a 2-bedroom in the West Village in Manhattan by myself and someone in the comments said I should order the rent history of my unit from the city to see if the rent was correct [for] what they’re actually charging me.”

“So that’s what this is, the entire rent history of my unit,” the TikToker continues, holding up a piece of paper and adding, “It kind of blew my mind.”

From the official rent history, Drake learns that in 1984, his West Village apartment was being rented out for $193. But that wasn’t even the craziest part.

He says, “That guy lived here for 33 years and paid less than $200 a month in rent … Then finally, you get to 2018, the law changed, I think the guy probably died or moved out, and then our unit went to $3,500 a month.”

Despite finding out that the last tenant paid more than $3,600 less than he does now, Drake says that he believes that he still has a pretty good deal.

“I pay $3,847,” he shares. “I actually think it’s a pretty good price. I don’t think my landlord is actually screwing me and especially for what it is in this market. But, you know, I walk around New York and think about all the people that are still paying $200 a month on these units. It’s insane. It’s so inefficient, like, good for them, but also, what about the rest of us?”

Users had a lot to say in the comments. Some agreed that Drake was getting a great deal, given the current rental market in New York.

“A 2 bed for $3800?! Holy hell, that’s lucky. My one bed is more than that,” one user exclaimed.

“Yeah that’s a super good deal. We pay $5500 for our 2 bedroom in Stuytown, which is also rent controlled but we just moved in,” shared another about their own apartment in the East Village.

One commenter who claimed to be a New York City realtor also confirmed that “under 4K for a 2 bedroom in WV is a great great great deal!”

Another person just wanted to know, “How can we get rent control?”

But although Drake admitted that he had a good deal on his rent, his question, “What about the rest of us” when it came to rent-controlled units, rubbed a number of people the wrong way. They argued that he should direct his question to landlords setting high prices instead of tenants lucky enough to be in rent-controlled apartments.

“No way your takeaway was “people shouldn’t be paying this little” after seeing this,” said one person.

“How can you say what about the rest of us literally the people that pay that much were probably born and raised here. We’re getting kicked out to make space for people relocating here. People are driving the market up so much it’s unfathomable,” argued another.

The debate highlights a growing issue for nearly 2 million New York City residents who live in rent-controlled apartments. They argue that incremental rent increases and guaranteed lease renewals have allowed them to raise families in a city with an unforgiving housing market.

In fact, a New York Times article calls the system “one of the most important sources of lower-cost housing as the cost of living in New York continues to reach new heights, and it has helped retain the city’s middle class.”

But recently, landlords have started to push back against the city’s rent-stabilization program, arguing that it makes these apartments too costly to renovate and at the same time too cheap to rent. Consequently, for the past two years in a row, the city has approved increasing rents on rent-controlled units.

In June 2023, a panel approved increases for the second year in a row, and landlords are now allowed to increase “rents on one-year leases by 3 percent, and on two-year leases by 2.75 percent for the first year and 3.2 percent for the second year.”

As one user in the comments pointed out to Drake, “Don’t ask tenants ‘what about the rest of us?’ because a few happen to pay little. Ask landlords how they charge so much when it isn’t warranted.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Drake via email for further comment.

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