The city's Rent Guidelines Board, the nine-person board that sits through a few nights of tenant heckling before voting in annual rent increases for rent-stabilized apartments, held the first of its 2010 meetings yesterday. As happened last year, tenants turned out to argue that the recession should merit a rent freeze, while landlord advocates claimed rents need to be higher to match rising operating expenses. And, again repeating last year, the board listened to the jeers and arguments and took a preliminary vote calling for rent hikes. Can't they just tape this thing one of these years and save themselves some time?
The panel voted 5-4 for increases of 2 to 4 percent for one-year leases and 4 to 6 percent for two-year leases. That's just the range: after two more public hearings, the board will set the final numbers June 24. Last year, the board went for 3 percent increases on one-year leases and 6 percent on two-year leases. This year's increase is one of the lower suggested markups of recent years, according to the Times. But, as DNAinfo notes, the board can choose numbers outside that range in its final vote. When the circus is in town, folks, anything can happen.
· New York Rent Board Recommends Range of Increases [NYT]
· Rent Guidelines Board recommends small hikes in rent-stabilized apartments [NYP]
· Rent Guidelines Board Hikes Rent Despite Dissent at Contentious Meeting [DNAinfo]
· Rent Wars: Stabilized Apartments Up for 40th Straight Year [Curbed]