Tenant rights attorney Joseph Tobener comments about the pitfalls of buyouts offered by landlords for rent-controlled units. Middleman services like RentMasters can be used by owners to negotiate buyout agreements, but Tobener is wary that such agreements may put tenants at risk. He says buyouts can be “extremely legally complex,” and client interests are better served with legal representation. Moreover, at rish tenants such as the elderly and those with mental illness may be easily manipulated. With more than 70 percent of the city’s rental units being rent-controlled, landlords are eager to cash-in on new, higher market rates, yet clients may not realize that giving up a controlled rent situation can very quickly eat up their buyout fee.
Newsweek March 25, 2016 by Seung Lee