New Yorker Says Rent Rising by $700 a Month As It's 'The Apartment's Worth'

A New Yorker has claimed her rent went up by $700 a month amid soaring prices in the city, as she shared a video pointing out the drawbacks of her apartment.

Grace James uploaded a clip to her TikTok account, @justgracejames, where she shared an email, purportedly from the real estate agent, with the subject line: "Rent renewal inquiry."

James, who's believed to live in the South Williamsburg/Los Sures area of Brooklyn, redacted contact details, but shared the text saying: "Hello Grace, as we are sure you're aware, prices have gone up very high in NYC.

"We did a big increase because that's the worth of the apartment. However, we want you to stay in the building, so we can grant you a slight discount."

While the email doesn't contain a figure, in a voiceover James says: "Hey Grace we're increasing your rent 700 a month because it's what the apartment's worth."

The clip, captioned "hey haha.... don't move to nyc right now," which can be seen here, has been viewed over 1.3 million times.

She proceeds to film exposed pipes, damaged floorboards, peeling paint, and chipped walls. And in the comment section, she claimed her roommate was staying and revealed the "discount" was $100.

One user, Jeremy, joked: "At least they're gracious enough to offer you a discount."


Reply to @vinegarwithap hope this helps 💕

♬ original sound - Grace James

Marinaelsa advised: "Ask them what $8k worth of improvements they've done in the past year."

Am wrote: "There should be laws that do not allow landlords to raise rent until they fix glaring issues."

Kevin Teasley commented: "They didn't even bother trying to lie saying their costs went up. They just said it's worth more now. That's GREED."

Kev said: "I'd start dropping maintenance requests daily."

Kevin Heckart admitted: "700 Is like my whole rent."

Shelby DeRousse added: "I would never willingly move to NYC."

While Madrid commented: "They acting like their mortgage for the building has increased."

Clay thelin said: "Fact that people still choose to live in NYC or CA absolutely baffles me at this point. Unless you have a net worth it's not worth."

After the clip blew up she shared an update last week, confirming she was moving home to Texas, saying: "I have wrestled a lot with a disappointment of not being able to stay and fight in this building both for myself and for anyone who would wanna live here after me.

"And I do intend to make sure before I leave this building all of my neighbors are informed of what happened and to me and how they can unite as a building."

Newsweek reached out to James for comment.

In the comments of the original video, and in her follow up, James shared some tips for fellow renters, saying: "Actionable advice: order your rent history. Call the met council on housing. If stabilized, go on rent strike and form a tenant union in your bldg.

"The courts are in your favor and we have more power than landlords want us to believe. I've decided to be closer to family, but you DO have rights!!!"

She also advised filing an overcharge complaint with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal if applicable.

The chart below, provided by Statista, shows the space breakdown for apartments costing $1,500.

Infographic: How Much Living Space Does $1,500/mth Get You in the U.S? | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Rent has soared in the Big Apple lately, seeing many tenants priced out of apartments as competition heated up to secure leases.

A report released by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development in June highlighted the issue.

The report said less than 1 percent of homes in New York were available for less than $1,500 per month.

It said: "A New Yorker making the city's median income would need to earn twice as much to afford the median asking rent of $2,750, and the level of rent burden and severe rent burden have remained stubbornly high since 2011.

"Additionally, half of the city's renting households spent more than 30 percent of their income on rent, and one in three of those households spent over half of their income on rent."

File photo of New York apartments.
File photo of New York apartments. A woman claims her rent went up by $700 a month. ablokhin/Getty Images