By Noah Manskar, Patch Staff
June 26, 2019
Landlords of New York City's rent-stabilized apartments can hike rents as much as 2.5 percent starting this fall under new guidelines approved Tuesday. The city's Rent Guidelines Board voted to allow rent increases of 1.5 percent on renewed one-year leases and 2.5 percent on renewed two-year leases starting Oct. 1.
That marks the third straight year that the Rent Guidelines Board has approved increases for both sets of leases. But Tuesday's vote also came on the heels of landmark reforms to the state's rent regulations that will significantly curtail landlords' ability to hike rents for other reasons.
The five boroughs are home to some 966,000 rent-stabilized apartments that account for nearly half of the city's rental housing stock. The new guidelines will touch about 620,000 of those units because they don't apply to new leases with new tenants and will only affect half the two-year leases, according to Andrew McLaughlin, the Rent Guidelines Board's executive director.
The final increases landed in the middle of the range that the board voted to consider in May, which proposed hikes as large as 2.75 percent for one-year leases and 3.75 percent for two-year leases.
But the vote nonetheless outraged both tenants and landlords — the crowd chanted "Shame on you!" at Tuesday's meeting at Cooper Union, the New York Post reported.
Low-income families already struggling to survive in the city will "bear the brunt" of the rent hikes, said Adriene Holder, the attorney-in-charge of the Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice.
"We are disappointed that the Board chose to heed the fear-mongering of landlords and place their profits over preserving affordable and stable housing for tenants across New York City," Holder said in a statement.
But landlords reportedly argue that the allowable rent hikes have not kept pace with the increased costs of operating their buildings.
"It's impossible for owners to invest back into their buildings when their property taxes are going up on average 7% every year," Vito Signorile, a spokesman for the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords of rent-stabilized buildings, told the Post.