Rent Guidelines Board votes for rent hike

June 28, 2011 4:11:23 AM PDT
Living in New York City is getting even more expensive. Rent hikes are on the way for more than 1 million rent-regulated apartments.

One-year leases will go up 3.75 percent, while two-year leases will go up 7.25 percent.

There is one thing both sides had in common at Monday night's fiery meeting - no one walked away happy. Landlords say whatever increase the board approved was not enough. Tenants, meanwhile, are crying foul.

The hoots and boos of those who gathered at the meeting won't take the sting out of the vote, as rent in one million apartments will climb on October 1.

Tenant groups denounced the hike as too much for renters to bear in hard times. But landlords say they're feeling the pain of expenses that grow faster than their rental income. An industry group even claims there are 81,000 apartments in the city with rents below $300 a month.

"The city keeps raising real estate taxes phenomenally, like double digits," landlord Jimmy Silver said. "Water and sewer goes up double digits. So how on the one hand can the city expect owners to pay all these costs, when the city doesn't give you the increases in your rents?"

The board rejected a proposal to tack on a 1 percent surcharge for apartments heated with oil. But that's little comfort for tenants who say the new rent hike is just painful.

And for a family who pays $2,500 or more in rent and earns more than $200,000 for two years in a row could see their apartment come off stabilization.