RGB’s Preliminary Vote Recommends Increases Between 2% and 6.5%

On April 30, the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) passed a preliminary first vote on one-year and two-year leases for rent-stabilized apartments in New York City. The preliminary vote passed 5 to 2 with two tenant members of the board walking out in protest ahead of the vote. The final vote is scheduled for June 17.

The board's preliminary vote called for the following proposed lease guidelines for rent-stabilized apartments:

  • A 2 to 4.5 percent increase on one-year leases; and
  • A 4 to 6.5 percent increase on two-year leases.

Tenants and owners will get a chance to weigh in on the proposed increases at a series of public meetings over the next two months. The first scheduled meeting is May 23 in Manhattan.

The context: Last year, there was a 3 percent increase for one-year leases signed starting Oct. 1 and an unusual split for two-year leases, with a 2.75 percent increase in year one and a 3.2 percent increase in year two.

Following Tuesday’s vote, Mayor Adams released a statement urging the RGB to avoid the top end of the preliminary ranges. “Tenants are feeling the squeeze of a decades-long affordability crisis, which has been accelerated by restrictive zoning laws and inadequate tools that have made it harder and harder to build housing. Our team is taking a close look at the preliminary ranges voted on by the Rent Guidelines Board this evening and while the Board has the challenging task of striking a balance between protecting tenants from infeasible rent increases and ensuring property owners can maintain their buildings as costs continue to rise, I must be clear that a 6.5 percent increase goes far beyond what is reasonable to ask tenants to take on at this time.”

This year’s expected rent increases follow a state budget season that has resulted in new eviction defenses for New York City tenants who don’t live in stabilized apartments. While nothing has changed as a result of the good-cause law for rent-stabilized tenants, lawmakers did approve a new rule allowing owners to raise rents by higher amounts based on apartment renovations. The deal at least doubled the Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) cap, which limits how much rent-stabilized apartment owners can increase rents to cover renovations.

What to you need to know: The actual hike will be determined next month by a final vote of the mayorally appointed board on June 17. After the board votes on its final decision, the allowable rent increases will apply to leases signed on or after Oct. 1, 2024.