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Renters beware. Elevator always broken. Heat does not work. Subway vibrations. Full luxury market rental price for a raw artist-only rental. Painting storage closet with no windows is not a legal bedroom. Bathroom at the other end of the loft from possible bedroom requires getting dressed every time you need to get from your bed to the toilet without parading in front of windows facing a busy conference room in the next building.
This is an A.I.R (artist in residence) apartment and you MUST have a artist in residence certificate to live here legally. Without one, you will be forced to move out at your own expense by Department of Buildings and Soho Alliance and you will forfeit a $28,000 deposit etc.... (not to mention the hefty broker fee). Signing a Soho letter means you will take the risk, but you will be forced out at your own expense.
Broker controls everything on behalf of 95 year old korean man and will force you out at the end of your lease to guarantee she will always collect a new commission. Do not think you will be allowed to renew at any rent increase, even if you are a legal artist, perfect tenant, pay on time, etc.... None of that will matter when the broker is ready to nail another guaranteed eventual commission. Even if you are dying of cancer and ask to renew for a year, you will be denied at any rental increase.
ouch! im sorry that happened to you! was just looking at the listing for a client... and you lost your 28k deposit? why so much??
Speedster, Did you get thrown out due to not being a certified artish or was your lease not renewed as the broker wanted to earn another commission. Two are very different.
We were perfect, A.I.R artist tenants and certainly did not lose our deposit. We were not allowed to renew after two years because the BROKER wanted to be guaranteed her commission again. We were certainly not thrown out, but the broker would only allow us to extend for an additional three months at a 20% increase which is ridiculous. We asked to renew our lease for another year and would have accepted any standard rent increase (20% obviously isn't standard and we needed 12 months, not 3) but she would not offer it to us. We paid $13,700. so a 20% increase for three months would be well beyond what she listed our apartment for to the general public. We were exceptional tenants in every possible way. Who benefitted from this scenario? Not us and not the building's Financial Trust, just a greedy broker. Ethical, successful and financially stable A.I.R artists willing to pay $14,000 a month for an original condition raw loft do not grow on trees, even in this town.
It does seem the latter. There is a reason owner is also called landlord. It is his choice unless you had an option to renew.
Also, the owner may suffer by not finding another tenant. But his choice.
Are you saying that if someone who is not an artist rents the apartment, the Department of Buildings and Sean Sweeney will somehow swoop in and force them to move? How would DOB know who was living there and, frankly, why would they care. There are a vast number of non-artists living in perfectly legal loft situations throughout the city. As I understand it, DOB's major concern is that loft buildings are safe to live in and comply with relevant fire and building codes, not who is occupying the spaces.
You are unaware of the "Artist In Residence" zoning and tax laws established 40 years ago that apply to this particular building and this apartment. The Department Of Buildings does take the law seriously and they do inspect A.I.R zoned buildings for both fire code, C of O zoning and safety issues and it does affect the building and future tenant, especially when a complaint is registered. The tax breaks given to buildings with specific "A.I.R" zoning are substantial and the building fines for C of O violations are steep. An Artist's Certificate is required for this particular floor (other floors might be different). More importantly, it affects the C of O and that affects the ability to sell the building and that would be a huge problem for the building trust (because the owner is 95).
The broker will give you a letter to sign, affectionately termed "the Soho Letter" by industry insiders that basically signs your rights away to stay if caught violating the AIR requirements, states you would forfeit your deposit of 2 months rent and you must move immediately if you get caught renting this unit without an artist's certificate. The rider legally protects the broker. Sean Sweeney will gladly explain the A.I.R code and tax issues to you and the status of this rental will be on his radar if the next tenant is not Artist certified. It's along the lines of rent-control law in NYC, not everyone agrees with the premise, but the laws were put in place to protect live/work artist spaces and they have not been changed to date. The building owner is taxed at a significantly lower rate than co-ops or condo buildings for the AIR status and should not profit from the difference.
We were legal but not allowed to renew just so the broker could collect another fee. We fit the legal requirements so signing a soho letter didn't matter to us, but the broker is looking our for her commission and will not care what happens to the next tenant when the building gets inspected.
I live in the same building, speetsternyc's sentiment is correct about the broker and the landlord. The landlord is a great person, but elderly and defers many decisions and takes advice from the broker.