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Rent Guidelines Board Votes to End Two Year Rent Freeze

Council Member Ben Kallos with Herndon Werth, a rent-stabilized tenant. Image credit: The Office of Council Member Ben Kallos.

The Rent Guidelines Board held a preliminary vote to increase rents on one-year and two-year leases in New York City. On April 25, 2017, the City’s Rent Guidelines voted to raise the rents for New York City’s one million rent stabilized apartments. In the two previous years the Board had voted to freeze rents citywide, the first freezes in New York City’s history. For CityLand‘s previous coverage of the rent freezes, click here.

Both tenant and landlord organizations came away from the vote disappointed. Tenant organization had called for another rent freeze, and in some cases a rent decrease. Landlord groups, who have been advocating for rent increases citing increased costs, suggested higher rate increases. The Rent Stabilization Association had called for an increase of 4% on one-year leases and 8% on two-year leases.

Landlords had sued the Board for freezing rents last year arguing that the Board had improperly considered tenant concerns. In March 2017, a New York Supreme Court upheld Board’s freeze, ruling that the Board was allowed to consider affordability to tenants in its decision-making.

In its proposed range guidelines, the Board settled on an increase of 1% to 3% increase for one-year leases renewed after October 1, 2017. The Board determined an increase for two-year leases in the range of 2% to 4%.

The Board will hold hearings in several boroughs for public input over the coming weeks and will settle on the increase amount by a vote on June 27, 2017.

By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).