Price Gouging After Superstorm Sandy

Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 NRDS ID#641625055

Price Gouging After Superstorm Sandy


We have a housing crisis of epic proportions in all the areas hard hit by Superstorm Sandy. People who lost their homes in the storm are in desperate need of temporary apartments. We don't have enough of them here on Long Island. What we have in terms of legal apartments are normally offered for lease and not for month-to-month rental.  Jill Sackler

One month's rent, one or two month's security and one month's brokerage fee (in some places, it's a certain percentage of the year's total) are traditional in a rental arrangement. This creates all sorts of problems for someone needing one month of housing, or two or three.

Homeowners with a property to rent have noticed the lack of availability. In response to the most basic rule of supply and demand, owners have responded by raising their prices. For an apartment that was barely worth $2,250.00 before the storm, they're now asking $2,800. Agents all over are noticing and complaining about this unhealthy trend.

In addition to the rent, there's a question of commission. Is it fair to ask for a fee commensurate with an entire month's rent from someone who is only renting for a month or two? I think not. While I'm not suggesting we work for free, (I know as well as anybody that I've been on my computer researching apartments into the wee hours of the morning), perhaps some guidelines from above need to be set forth.

The New York Attorney General has been flooded with complaints from consumers. Gouging is on their radar and they're looking into it.

 Huffington Post Price Gouging After Sandy Article

Many people feel that Karma will be punishment enough for those willing to profit from someone else's misery. In my experience, people who take advantage of others' misfortunes often continue to do quite well. I'd much prefer to see regulations enacted.


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Jill Sackler, NYS Real Estate Broker Associate based on Long Island's South Shore

Sunny Isles, Fl 



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©Jill Sackler 2010



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Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

Hi Jill, Since we got back service on our cell phone, mostly all the calls are for short term rentals. I know the talk on Rutenberg Chat is all about price gouging, but we are glad that we haven't come across this situation...yet!

Nov 07, 2012 07:31 AM #1
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Hi Jill,  Boy that is so sad.  You would think the community would try to reach out and help those less fortunate.  What a hardship for those who lost everything.

Nov 07, 2012 07:33 AM #2
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

folks doing this are really giving the business a bad name, at least folks are not doubling the rents

Nov 07, 2012 07:36 AM #3
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Sad, but not uncommon! :(  A number of years back we had a flood in an area of Carmel near the river. Talked one owner into going short term for a family who had their home flooded. Charged the usual monthly rate, no surcharge. The flooded family was very greatful!!

Nov 07, 2012 08:13 AM #4
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...
Jill ~> how unfortunate that others will take advantage of people who are in dire straits to make a profit and price gouge. You would think in a situation like this people would lower the rent to help those who need housing.. How very sad, what a shame..
Nov 07, 2012 09:59 AM #5
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Jill, It is the old adage of greed. If the market was suggesting that this was an upswing for rentals, then go with it...but to take advantage of folks that have lost their home due to the storm and need temporary housing is in my opinion completely heartless and wrong. Sad all around!

Nov 08, 2012 04:41 AM #6
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Sheila - Maybe you haven't seen it yet because you mainly work the North shore.

Belinda - There are plenty of people who do that also and then, there are others...

Mark - I have not seen doubling yet.

Eileen - I bet they were grateful!

Frank & Karen - Some people are putting up those without a home and helping in every conceivable manner.

Cindy - It's a traumatic time for those who've lost their home. They're walking around shell-shocked.

Nov 08, 2012 11:28 AM #7
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Jill Sackler

LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
Long Island Living - Where Memories Are Made
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