OK, let’s talk Kushner for a moment. Not white-house-failure Kushner, but NY real-estate-jerk Kushner. It broke last week that his company lied about whether certain buildings they owned had rent-regulated tenants as residents before beginning construction. As the chair of New York’s Committee on Public Housing put it, “The Kushner’s appear to be engaging in what I can the weaponization of construction.” It’s a way to force protected tenants out against their will, by making a building so unlivable they decide to just bail. It’s also illegal.
As the leaseholder of my own rent stabilized apartment that has often gone un-repaired to the point we ended up in court, I feel for these tenants! My situation is more apathetic negligence than outright deceit, so screw you, Kushner, you fart. How dare you. You’re making my landlord look good by comparison!
This all doesn’t really seem like a NY Value, but do you know what is? The fact that a watchdog agency looked into this and tried to hold the Kushners and similar landlords responsible, and how many similar agencies exist to protect tenants, especially the low-income or otherwise at risk.
Kushner’s misdeeds were discovered by a housing watchdog group, the Housing Rights Initiative. There is a NYC Council-founded tenants’ rights hotline you can call for help on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. There are law students who provide pro-bono legal help to those trying to represent themselves in housing court. There are sites where you can look up information about violations tied to a landlord or specific property. There are multiple NYC.gov websites specifically devoted to tenant info, and SO MANY OTHER third party organizations whose sole purpose is to help protect tenants. I wanted to include an actual list, but I’m putting my first deal together today (!!!!), so I ran out of time. I will try to compile for next week.
It’s hard to live here, sometimes, especially on a tight budget. As discussed last week, moving is EXPENSIVE! So the fact that the city does provide resources and protection for its low income tenants definitely qualifies as a NY Value.
As promised last week, I’m going to quickly explain the different types of agents, for those who don’t know.
Agent: This term refers to anyone licensed to buy or sell real estate, either a salesperson or broker.
Salesperson: As a new agent, you begin as a salesperson. In NY, to get your actual state license, you need to be sponsored by a broker. You cannot be licensed as a salesperson unassociated with any brokerage, so finding said broker is just as important as the classes and exams.
Broker: After two years as a licensed (i.e. sponsored by a broker and registered) salesperson, you can complete an additional 45 hour class to get your broker’s license. Being a broker means that you are now able to start your own company (brokerage) and hire other brokers and salespeople.
Brokerage: The company, like Compass, that is run by at least one broker, and provides insurance, resources, etc. to their agents in exchange for a cut of their commission. Traditionally, this cut begins around 40-50% of commission for newer or lower producing agents, and the percentage decreases as you earn more.
There are more specific demarkations within these groups, but I’ll leave it here for now. And if any of you have specific real estate questions you’d like me to answer, feel free to comment, message, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.