By Rich Singleton
Los Angeles, California
The demand for apartments in the greater downtown area is continuing to grow, as demonstrated by a vacancy rate that is decreasing faster than it is on the Westside.
According to a report prepared by a national real estate analysis firm, the apartment vacancy rate in the downtown area fell 1.3 percentage points to 3.2% in the first three months of this year compared to last year. It is one tenth of a percentage point better than the vacancy rate for the Westside apartment market, which decreased eight tenths of a percentage point during the same reporting period.
The robust demand for downtown area apartments encouraged downtown apartment owners to raise asking rents per month by about 1.5% to an average of $1,354 per month during the first quarter of this year.
Asking rents on the Westside rose at a slower pace at 1.3%, to an average of $1,929 per month during the same three month period.
The report noted that newly employed recent college graduates have been moving into the downtown area because it is more affordable than the Westside, and the downtown neighborhood nevertheless are deemed cool and fashionable.
But it should be noted that you are throwing recently constructed units with modern amenities into the mix with older, more traditional buildings.
Bronx, New York
A landlord in the Bronx is suing one of his tenants who apparently has turned the living room in his high rise apartment into a fish farm that purportedly leaks water into the apartment below and makes the hallway smell something like the Fulton Fish Market in the summer heat.
The tenant, a former vice-president with Morgan Stanley, has created what he calls an “aquaponic” in his apartment, which he describes as a non-profit business to encourage city dwellers grow fish in the confined spaces of their apartments.
However, neighbors are fed up and complain that the tenant drags water filled fish farming equipment across the wooden floors of the 14th floor apartment at all hours, and is the cause of more than a few significant water leaks.
“It’s irritating when you hear noise all the time. It’s 3:30 in the morning, and you hear him dragging his aquarium or whatever it is across the floor. It has changed my life,” complained the neighbor directly below.
The landlord alleges that the fish farming tenant is in violation of his lease by illegally propagating fish and operating the Society of Aquaponic Values and Education from his 14th floor apartment.
“He’s running a business out of his apartment,” said the attorney for the landlord. “He has refused to refrain from making noises and causing odors,” he added.
The tenant claimed he was unaware of the lawsuit and declined to talk about it. However, he said he sells the baby tilapia and female breeders on eBay and Craigslist in order to support himself, his girlfriend, and his two children from a previous relationship.
“Any publicity is good publicity,” added the fish farming tenant, channeling Donald Trump.