RGB Recommends Lower Rent Increases

The Rent Guidelines Board, a nine-member panel that sets annual rent increases on rent-stabilized apartments, met on May 1 to vote on preliminary numbers for increasing rent-stabilized rents. The board voted for rent hikes of between 1.75 and 4 percent on new one-year leases and increases of between 3.5 percent and 6.75 percent for two-year renewal leases.

These increases are about 50 percent below last year's and signaled that tenants in more than a million rent-stabilized apartments could be on the verge of the lowest increases since 2002, when rents went up by 2 and 4 percent.

At the vote, tenant reps made a bid for a complete rent freeze, with the argument that tenants are paying the highest ever percentage of their incomes on rent. While owner representatives asked for 5 and 9 percent rent hikes.

Once the final raises are decided in June, they will affect leases that expire between Oct. 1, 2012, and Sept. 30, 2013.