Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Increase From The Rent Guidelines Board

Summer is upon us (even though it doesn't look like it outside today) and for landlords of rent-stabilized buildings, it is time to salivate over how high the Rent Guidelines Board will raise rents. Of course, the tug of war will consist of the usual, "rents are too high" versus "our expenses are too high so we must have a large increase" and in the end the Board will pick something in the middle of the preliminary numbers. For this year, that means 2 to 4.5% for one year leases and 4 to 7.5% for two year leases.

Gothamist has some more details:

Of course, that doesn't sit well with the tenants. One told NY1, "A year and a half ago I had pneumonia and I was hospitalized due to lack of heat. They do not deserve an increase at all and many many other tenants are going through the same thing." And Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer pointed out that last year's hikes—4.5% for one-year leases, 8.5% for two-year leases—was approved when landlords said energy prices would rise, when in reality they didn't. Stringer said, "So come clean, admit you made a mistake and the reason you freeze the rents is because you rent gauged last year based on a faulty set of assumptions." But landlord Jimmy Silber said, "If people want a rent freeze, let's have a freeze on real estate taxes and water and sewer taxes, plumbing increases and legal increases."
Basically, no matter how much screaming and shouting occurs from either side, there will be an increase of some sort. If people really want to change how this is done, they'll want to get rid of Pedro Espada and his GOP buddies so that the Democratic senate can get back to enacting reforms to help tenants get back rights that Republicans and a few developer-friendly Democrats (like Espada) have been stripping for the past few decades.