RGB Votes for Rent Increases in Preliminary Vote
In a preliminary vote on May 7, the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) recommended increasing rent for rent-stabilized apartment buildings. The board’s preliminary vote inside The Great Hall at Cooper Union in the East Village called for:
- A half-percent to 2.75 percent increase on one-year leases; and
- A 1.75 to 3.75 percent increase on two-year leases.
The members voted 5 to 4 in favor of this proposal, put forward by chair David Reiss, which included a 10 percent allowance for sublets but didn’t call for a vacancy bonus. The RGB hasn’t included a vacancy rent bump since the late 1990s, when the state implemented its own, ranging from 5 to 20 percent.
The board had rejected two proposals. The landlord representatives on the board proposed a 3.75 to 5.75 percent increase on one-year leases and a 4.75 to 6.75 increase on two-year leases. And the tenant representatives proposed a half-percent increase for one year and a 0 to 1 percent increase for two years.
The preliminary vote comes as the state legislature mulls various proposals to reform the rent laws, including the elimination of various programs that allow landlords to increase rents when apartments are vacated and renovated. At an RGB hearing in April, the Real Estate Board of New York argued that the board should increase rents by 7.5 percent in order to make up for the drop in revenue streams that would result from changes proposed by the state.
The RGB will hold a series of public hearings around the five boroughs before it holds a final vote June 25. Last year, the board approved hikes of 1.5 percent on one-year leases and a 2.5 percent on two-year leases. Any increases will affect lease renewals that start in October. The public can comment on the proposed guidelines before the final vote. The deadline to submit comments is June 21, 2019. You can submit comments to the RGB through the following methods:
Website. You can submit comments through the NYC Rules website at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us.
Email. You can email comments via Contact the Rent Guidelines Board page at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/rentguidelinesboard/about/email-the-board.page.
Mail. You can mail comments to NYC Rent Guidelines Board, 1 Centre St., Ste. 2210, New York, NY 10007.
Fax. You can fax comments to NYC Rent Guidelines Board, (212) 669-7488.
By speaking at the hearing. Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed rule at a public hearing must sign up to speak. You can sign up before the hearing by calling (212) 669-7480. You can also sign up at the public hearings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 11, 13, and 20, and from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on June 18. You can speak for up to two minutes.
Schedule of the Upcoming RGB Meetings:
➤ TUE, JUNE 11, 5 to 8 p.m. — Public Testimony
Main Theatre of Hostos Community College/CUNY
450 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451
➤ THU, JUNE 13, 5 to 8 p.m. — Public Testimony
Saint Francis College, Founders Hall
180 Remsen St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
➤ TUE, JUNE 18, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Public Testimony
Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Auditorium
153-10 Jamaica Ave.
Jamaica, NY 11432
➤ THU, JUNE 20, 5 to 8 pm — Public Testimony
Oberia D. Dempsey Multi Service Center, Auditorium
127 West 127th St.
New York, NY 10027
➤ TUE, JUNE 25, 7 pm — Final Vote
Great Hall at Cooper Union (basement)
7 East 7th St.
New York, NY 10003