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Apart from the semantic goofiness, how is this worse than the landlords simply raising the rent every year (which is clearly not unethical)?

What's not worse about it?

If a landlord raises the rent on a 400 square foot space, they're simply asking more money for it the same space. If a tenant wants to pay that price for 400 square feet, that's his choice.

On the other hand, if the landlord claims it's 420 square feet, no matter how much he charges per square foot, the tenant is paying for something that simply doesn't exist.

Landlords can phrase things in terms of $/rsf, but the lease specifies a monthly flat rate. It can't change until the lease expires. What am I missing about the bind this puts tenants in?

I get the semantic dishonesty, but not the practical issue.

Searching for offers, as explained in the article. The nonexistant square feet put the offer undeservingly high in the sqft/$ order which is what many tenants search by.

That's silly. It's unethical like SEO is unethical: annoying, but hardly damning. There must be something more to it than that.

Yeah, but the SEO might cost you a click while such an offer might cost you a physical visit to a crappy office.

Again, this is pretty silly. If an agent led me into a bait-and-switch situation (ie, something advertised as 1400 rsf turns out to be a closet), I'd simply never use them again.

In practice, though, total moot point: the last time I looked for office space (earlier this year), the first agent I called sent me scaled floor plans for over 100 places. There were rsf numbers to go with them, but the dimensions of every office were right there.

SEO is not inherently lacking in ethical fortitude - I find that suggestion offensive. You might as well say all lawyers are corrupt or all financial advisers are swindlers.

Lying about the objectively measurable characteristics of your product is wrong.

This is the #2 result on the serp for [how to cook a great tasting steak]:


"Take your fork and jab the steak with it. Don't jab it so hard that it gets stuck in the steak, though. Keep tendorizing the steak until it is like pudding. Make sure it stays together, though."

Sorry I managed to offend you, but you work in a field that tends towards grey areas, so maybe invest in some thicker skin. (Hey, look at my field!)

Every time I read Wikihow and eHow, I think "I am so glad I wasn't a credulous Middle American retiree googling their medical symptoms.". If your chest hurts, apply honey with Tylenol crushed up into it!

(Non-SEOs may not realize, but health is in the top five categories for search volume on some networks.)

>Sorry I managed to offend you ..

I find it offensive because you're wrong and the people here are modding you up. I'm not crying into my soup or anything.


Thanks for your caring comment though.

There are mechanisms by which a landlord can raise a rent inside the bounds of a lease. In my experience, multi-year leases have "elevator clauses" that either allow for pre-negotiated upwards adjustments in price based on property tax, CPI, or other measures.

What if I paid for 420 sq. feet and actually needed 420 sq. feet, not 400?

I assume you've rented in NYC. We do, and in Chicago. This is not complicated; landlords will tell you usable sqft, and give you accurate floorplans.

Besides, who rents based on a sqft number? You always visit and work out the space before signing. It's not eBay!

Don't you get to sue them for fraud if the area figures have been inflated by 5% to purposefully deceive?

It is worse because it involves deceit.

I think people are really just upset because landlords don't want to call "rent increases" "rent increases", and that this is mostly a nerd-brain problem. That's not an insult; I'm the proud owner of one of those weird nerd-brains. Query!

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