Rent stabilized tenants in New York City who renew their leases any time from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009 face
- For a 2-year lease, you pay an 8.5% increase
- For a 1-year lease, you pay a 4.5% increase.
Tenants living in rent stabilized apartments for 6 or more years, with a rent of under $1000 get a higher increase: $85 for a 2-year lease, and $45 for a 1-year lease. Since we have not been in rent stabilization for 6 years, we can assert that this does not apply. (We left Mitchell-Lama on January 7, 2005.)
Check the Rent Guidelines Board announcement by clicking here.
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The NY Times wrote
Board Backs Rise in Rent Up to 8.5%
The board that regulates rents for New York City’s one million rent-stabilized apartments approved its highest rent increases in years at a raucous meeting on Thursday, angering tenants who said high rents were forcing the poor and working class out of the city.
At a meeting punctuated by ear-splitting whistle-blowing and shouting matches between sign-waving tenants and landlords, the city’s Rent Guidelines Board authorized rent increases of up to 4.5 percent on one-year leases and 8.5 percent on two-year leases.
The board also took the unusual and controversial step of authorizing a supplemental rent increase that affected only tenants who have lived in their apartments for six years or more. Owners of buildings with those tenants have the option of charging them the approved increases, or a $45 monthly increase for one-year leases or $85 for two-year leases, whichever is greater.
The last time the board approved a set of increases that were higher was in 1989, when one-year leases saw a 5.5 percent increase and two-year leases a 9 percent increase. In 2003, one-year leases increased 4.5 percent, but two-year leases increased 7.5 percent. Last year, the board approved increases of 3 percent on one-year leases and 5.75 percent on two-year leases.
The meeting in the Great Hall at Cooper Union in the East Village was the epitome of chaos: for much of the proceedings, groups of tenants armed with whistles blew persistently and loudly, drowning out a long statement read by the board’s chairman, Marvin Markus, and the taking of the nine-member board’s 5-to-4 vote.
The noise got so loud at one point that the chairman called at least one 15-minute recess.
Some board members put their fingers in their ears to block out the high-pitched whistling. The circus atmosphere was peppered with a sarcastic and subversive brand of political theater. Tenants stood side by side and face to face with landlords, and they shouted at board members and those next to them, booing and holding brief but heated debates about the city’s affordability for renters and owners. At times, Mr. Markus and the other board members sat on the stage for long stretches just waiting for the din to die down.
“Landlords have loopholes!” shouted Barry Soltz, the legal coordinator for the tenants’ association at a rent-stabilized building in the Bronx. “Tenants have hellholes!”
“Get your own place if you don’t like it!” a Brooklyn landlord named Frank, who did not want to give his last name, screamed in his face.
In 2006, tenant organizers tried to shut down the meeting by blowing whistles and banging on homemade drums. A ban on noisemaking instruments and drums was instituted last year, but tenants came prepared this year: They sneaked about 300 earplugs and 360 plastic whistles past the metal detectors at the Great Hall.
“The point we’re making is that this is a charade,” said Michael McKee, the treasurer of Tenants Political Action Committee, part of the Real Rent Reform Campaign, which is seeking to drastically restructure the board. “This was a done deal from the beginning.”
Tenant leaders had said they would try to shut down the meeting if the supplemental rent increase was debated or discussed.
The supplemental increase was not part of the tentative range of increases approved by the board in May. Adriene L. Holder, a board member who represents tenants, said that a memorandum prepared by the board’s staff at the request of the chairman describing a supplemental increase was distributed to board members shortly after 9 a.m. on Thursday. She added that for the board to vote in haste on a 22-page memo whose analysis she found questionable was “a procedural outrage.”
The board’s vote had a mixed reaction among property owners. They said that on the one hand the increases were not enough, but that on the other hand they were pleased with the supplemental increase, which they felt would ease the burden on small-property owners who have longtime rent-stabilized tenants paying $500 or $600 a month.
“We are satisfied that for the first time, there’s a recognition by this board that percentages do not work, and that you need to drive more cash to these small-property owners,” said Joseph Strasburg, the president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents thousands of landlords.
According to the landlords’ group, operating costs of rent-stabilized units have grown by more than 40 percent in the past six years, while the board’s rent increases in that time for one-year leases have risen by only 20 percent. Mr. Strasburg and the group had called on the board to pass rent increases of 10 percent to 15 percent this year.
The increases approved on Thursday apply to leases renewed between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2009. Tenants who pay for their own heat are subject to lower increases.
Mr. Markus said the minimum dollar amounts in supplemental increases had been authorized by the board numerous times, though not recently. He defended carrying on with the meeting despite the disruptions.
“I’d love not to have chaos, but unfortunately I’ve got a job to do,” he said, adding that he was not sure what the security procedures would be for next year. “We’re going to have plastic detectors,” he said.
The board’s nine members are appointed by the mayor. Two represent tenants, two represent owners, and five represent the public. Since the board was established in 1969, it has never approved a rent decrease or a rent freeze.