Somehow this article in the Times, which talks about landlords in East Harlem who let apartments go vacant rather than rent them, does not mention the cost of renting under rent-contro until page 2!
Mr. James, the architect, took a reporter on a walk between 106th and 116th Streets and between Lexington and Third Avenues and pointed out 20 boarded-up residential buildings with active storefronts. At 152 East 110th Street, a four-story building was abandoned except for a Dolce Vita pizzeria. A five-story corner building at 1773 Lexington Avenue had a busy grocery and a shuttered restaurant, but the apartments above had long been vacant. The two buildings to the south had Chinese and Mexican restaurants and a nail salon, but the apartments above were also empty.
“My best guess is they don’t want the hassle of renting to tenants,” he said, pointing out that tenants protected by rent-stabilization laws could be difficult to evict.
It’s better than landlords who torch their buildings rather than go rent-control.