Last year's freeze on stabilized rents was a major victory for the city's rent-regulated tenants, and this year, it looks like it might repeat itself once more.
Though the final decision won't take place until June 27th, last night the Rent Guideline's Board voted to consider a 0 to 2 percent increase next year on one-year stabilized leases, and a 0.5 to 3.5 percent increase on two-year leases, as reported by the New York Times. This is the same range that was up for a vote last year, when the RGB voted on the first-ever rent freeze in the city's history.
While landlords say that a rent freeze wouldn't allow them to make enough money to cover basic operating costs—an argument that's come up many times before—according to a report put together by the RGB, operating costs for stabilized properties have gone down 1.2 percent this year, while net landlord income increased 3.5 percent, part of a decade-long streak of income trumping expenses, per the Times.
Naturally, advocates for both landlords and tenants have gripes about the possible freeze; landlords have recommended an increase of 4 percent on one-year stabilized leases, while tenant advocates say the freeze doesn't go far enough, and instead are pushing for a rent rollback. (And meanwhile, the rent freeze would leave rent-controlled tenants out in the cold.)
Still, another freeze would be a big move for the entirely de Blasio-appointed board; a spokesperson from the mayor's office told the Times: "We’re committed to establishing rent adjustments that are fair, grounded in the data, and that reflect real-life conditions in our neighborhoods."
After the June 27th vote, the new guidelines will apply to stabilized leases up for renewal between October 1st and September 30th, 2017.
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