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So, we have a stabilized apartment with a fairly gross kitchen. After the LL saying we could renovate it ourselves, he suddenly decided (upon further reflection on his ability to raise our rent) to do it himself, with his crew of… uh… artisans.

We’re a little pissy about the sudden switch and the corresponding loss of quality and increase in rent, but if it means the kitchen is actually usable, we’re probably fine with it.

My question is this- we want some sort of ballpark figure from him of what the reno will cost, so we can determine if the corresponding bump in rent is really worth it to us. If he gives us a number that’s ridiculous (or refuses to give a #) can we refuse to let him renovate the kitchen?

It seems like the answer would be an obvious yes, but I wasn’t sure. And yes, I realize that we can’t renovate it either at that point. But we’d rather try and scrub the filth off and repaint the cabinets than pay $200 more rent per month for the next 20 years.


After much hunting for something to buy, my husband & I have decided to rent for the time being (in large part due to imminent parenthood). It’s been a long time since I’ve dealt with the bk rental market– I owned for a while & am now living in a rental inherited when a friend moved out. Does anyone have any advice on which brokers have the right balance of good listings/reasonable prices/reasonable fees? Is it even possible these days to find a no-fee apt? I’m in need of some good apartment karma, so any thoughts are appreciated!


Hello all–

And a happy spring (???) to you!

I’m taking the plunge in “becoming an adult” and finally going to be living alone; my current lease ends May 31. I’ve been a Boerum Hill/Park Slope resident for 7 years and am very familiar with the area and know I want to be within walking distance of Atlantic Terminal.

I saw a 1BR this morning and am looking to Brownstoner-land in helping me figure out whether I should jump or keep looking. Below are my thoughts…

1. Great size, entire 2nd floor in 3 fl brownstone; living room is about 20×20 with a large open kitchen (10×10?) that could fit a small table
2. Bedroom is small around 10×10, but will absolutely fit my queen bed and dresser
3. 2 large closets (bedroom and hallway)
4. private patio – about 10×10 off bedroom
5. on tree-lined block b/t 4th and 5th (great location)
6. free access to another building’s gym about 2 blocks away
7. north/south facing windows (bedroom in back)
8. hardwood floors throughout exposed brick on 2 walls
9. No broker fee

1. May 1 rental (I wanted May 15), non-negotiable.
2. no washer/dryer (laundromat on corner – I’ve had a W/D in my apt for years and LOVE it and I know I know, it’s rare and I need to give it up)
3. Small bedroom (does this even matter w/a massive living room?)
4. not a ton of counter space
5. not a new property (I like new construction – this one was renovated several years ago and is still in good shape, tho the stove has seen better days). Also, something I prob have to give up.
6. Tenant pays heat, hot water, electric. Heat estimated at $80/mo in winter from current tenant

The rent is $1900/mo, which is $100 more than I *wanted* to spend. I can afford it, though.

This place will absolutely go once it’s listed. It’s a great place, but do the pros outweigh the cons? Am I missing anything in my analysis? Am I stupid not to take it?

Thoughts, inputs, etc. fellow brownstoners!

Thanks, tons and tons,


Hello- Looking for a bit of advice on how to handle this situation:
My husband and I moved into a brownstone about two months ago, we are on the second interior level (so, we are above the parlor and have one two-floor apartment above us). In the hallway, on our floor, outside the unused second door to our unit I have been keeping our vacuum cleaner and laundry cart. Then a few weeks ago the upstairs neighbor started keeping a bike in that corner sort or leaning up against our things. I thought, that’s sorta strange but, it’s not really in my way and it must be a pain to carry that bike up another flight, so whatever. But, I just got a text from the neighbor saying, “We are putting up a stand for our bikes in our end of the hallway if you could move your cleaning stuff at some point.” I’m wondering if I’m crazy…but, to me, the hallway isn’t theirs at all! They live upstairs, in a much bigger apartment. I don’t really know how to respond. In the ten years of living in different Brooklyn brownstones I have always experienced that the hallway on the floor with your unit is YOURS to do what you will with. Am I wrong? Also, just as the added bonus, the landlord (who lives out of state) does not want bikes in the building at all and it even says it in the lease we just signed. How should I respond? I would like to maintain being friendly with these neighbors, but I really am taken aback.


We’re looking at buying a multi-family house — is there conventional wisdom on which makes better financial sense–creating 2 1BR apts for rent or 1 2BR?

We’ve considered that 2 1brs lowers our risk – what are the chances that 2 people will stop paying rent at once? or that just having a tennant could make our lives easier – eg a 2BR, and would also lower our renovation costs as we’d need 1 kitchen and 1 1/2 baths as opposed to 2 kitchens and 2 full baths.

the house is currently configured with two 1BRs, so we’d be renovating on their footprints if we did that, but the units are currently crazy wonky and hard to imagine that they are up to code on any front . . .

also – is it worth putting on a roof deck to improve rental income??

Thoughts? many thanks!



I am wondering what people think the price would be for a rental in Park Slope in the area of 10th street, between 5th avenue and 7th avenue for a two bedroom (really one bedroom plus a den/office) on a second or third floor walk-up. Something basic and clean, no washer/dryer, no top of the line appliances etc. Thanks.


I am in the process of purchasing a 3 family townhouse. When I went to sign the contract I realized that the seller intends to leave one of the current month-to-month renters in the building (even though the broker told me it would be delivered vacant). The current renter is paying under market rent (about two thirds of the going rate). I’m wondering what people think about inheriting a building with a tenant under these circumstances, rather than finding my own tenants. For example what if the person decides not to leave? What would be the process for eviction and how long would it take? Finally, would it be better to say no deal if the sellar won’t deliver vacant. Any thoughts, or comments would be appreciated, thanks.


I’m wondering if anyone has any insight about renting out a house. We have a 3 bedroom single family in Windsor Terrace. Renovated, nicely furnished.

We are thinking about going overseas for 2 years and I’m pondering renting it out vs selling.

Anyone ever rent or rent out a house? What’s the best way to do it? What about upkeep etc? Furnishings?

Any thoughts or comments on your own experience would be helpful.