Rent hike framework set
Landlords and their tenants found a rare point of agreement in their mutual panning of the Rent Guidelines Boards suggested increases on apartment leases.
The board set the range of hikes Monday night on rent-stabilized properties from 3.5 percent to 7 percent from one-year leases and from 5.5 percent to 9.5 percent for two-year leases. The board is scheduled to hold public hearings on June 11 and June 16 and will set a final number within the framework at a meeting on June 19.
Property owners said that the potential hikes are woefully small to cover cost increases, and would force many property owners to sell their buildings or delay maintenance.
We are very disappointed that the board chose such a low range, said Jack Freund, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords. We cant keep on giving owners half of what they need to stay in business. What ends up happening is that a long-term owner who has a relationship to tenants and loyalty to the property sells out to someone who many be a speculator who may not treat the property the way it should be treated.
Tenant groups said that the increases, particularly if on the high end of the guidelines, would spell disaster for residents of the citys more than a million rent-stabilized apartments. The increase covers leases signed between Oct. 1, 2008 and Set. 30, 2009, will likely be larger than this years, which amounted to 5.75 percent on two-year leases and 3 percent one-year leases.
Its higher than raises tenants got last year, its more than the increase in income that people on social security got last year, said Jenny Laurie, director of the Metropolitan Council on Housing.
She dismissed the idea that property expenses make rent increases necessary.
Their pockets are rising as well. Net operating incomes have been going up steadily year after year.
State Sen. Tom Duane (D-Manhattan) has introduced legislation in Albany that would change the make-up of a board that many believe to be unfairly biased toward property owners.
He said Mondays 5-4 vote highlighted the need for reform.
Everyone realizes the New York City Rent Guidelines Board just doesnt function in an appropriate way.