I don't need to tell you that life in New York City is expensive. But at a certain point, expensive turns into absolutely egregious, and that's what TikTok user Ally Shapiro and her partner experienced when their landlord recently raised their rent to a price so unmanageable that they had to move out.
In a viral video that has been viewed nearly two million times, Ally shared exactly what the next tenant can expect from their "modestly priced" 570-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment. Which, by the way, is going for a whopping $7,050 per month in the East Village.
TikTok: @allyshaps / Via tiktok.com
There's a narrow kitchen with a few cabinets:
A decent-sized living room:
A single bedroom with just enough space for the bed and one nightstand:
And a closet that honestly cannot be split between two people, but Ally and her partner made it work anyway:
After watching her tour, commenters agreed that the unit was nice overall but certainly not worth over $7,000 a month. Surely, they argued, there had to be amenities driving up the price, but Ally says the building hosts a gym and rooftop access. (All of which I, the writer, had in a Washington, DC apartment building for $1,500 a month.)
To learn more about the unit's pricing, BuzzFeed tracked down the exact listing on Street Easy, where we also found how much the unit was leased for to different tenants dating back to 2014. (The price skyrocketed from $5,950 to $7,050 between 2021 and 2023). And, honestly, the minimum payment of $4,524 also feels like a stretch but, according to Zumper, $4,313 is average for a one-bedroom apartment in New York City.
Regardless of averages, Ally and her partner were ultimately priced out of the building. "I know that the apartment was very expensive to begin with, however, once it hit $7,000 for a one-bedroom, I knew we were just being taken advantage of," Ally told BuzzFeed.
"It’s simply ridiculous for under 600 square feet to be charging that much! ... To be paying so much money and not be comfortable in my own home wasn’t worth it."
And viewers agree. "570 square feet for $7,000 a month is insane," one person commented on Ally's video.
"I thought it was gonna be a two-bedroom for that price," another gawked. "I can't."
Meanwhile, people in other countries couldn't fathom how high prices in the US can go. "I pay 700 euros," one European viewer said.
"In Greece I pay $4,000 for the whole year, and it's still very expensive for us here," someone else said.
"I pay under $700 USD in Japan, 30 minutes from Tokyo for a 3-bedroom apartment," another added.
Even within the US, New York prices feel bloated. "That monthly rent would pay for 4 months of my mortgage in New Jersey," a NYC neighbor said.
"I'm in Harlem," a fellow New Yorker chimed in, "and only paying $2,250 for [a] rent stabilized 2-bedroom, 1-bath and no roaches."
It's disheartening to see prices rise to the point where everyday people may no longer afford living in their city, Ally feels. "I think the rising rent prices are outrageous," she said. "The only way to afford an apartment in a similar price range — which most 1-bedrooms I looked at in comparable buildings and locations are — is to make $200k+/year."
"Since I am 30, and live with my boyfriend, having an extra roommate isn’t really a great option. Also, there would be no way to add a roommate or wall into that one bedroom with the current layout."
In the past year, Smart Asset reports that rent has increased throughout the US — even jumping nearly 30% in some places. If you've been affected, tell us about it in the comments. We can vent together.