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Fresh Meat Thrown to Dogs in Annual Rent War

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Every year around this time, the Rent Guidelines Board begins proceedings to decide how to adjust the rates for rent-stabilized apartments. The decision comes every June, following numerous raucous public hearings in which landlord organizations claim they're being screwed because the rent doesn't keep up with the costs of maintaining the buildings, and tenant groups claim they're being screwed because the fatcat landlords are just greedy pigs. There is lots of yelling and sign waving, and the scene has more scripted drama than, well, Rent. And every June, the Rent Guidelines Board raises rents more than the tenants would like, and less than the landlords desired. The Post commemorates this year's kick-off with a pair of stories, one for each side. For the landlords, the Rent Guidelines Board announced that operating costs of rent-stabilized buildings jumped 7.8% from last year, a sure sign that rents could be raised more than the 3% for one-year renewals and 5.75% for two-year renewals that were agreed upon last year, when costs jumped 5.1%. For tenants, Congressman Anthony Weiner is leading the charge to demand more affordable housing, releasing a study that claims one-third of all New Yorkers pay more than 50% of their salary to their rent, when an acceptably amount is 30%. Commence shouting.
· Renters Face Bigger Hikes [NYP]
· 1 in 3 Give Half Pay to Landlords [NYP]