Rent Guidelines Board approves rent increases on apartments, freeze on hotels

TRD New York /
Jun.June 25, 2019 08:43 PM
(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Moments before the Rent Guidelines Board’s final vote Tuesday evening on rent increases, two camps prepared for the tense hearing.

Joe Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, smoked a cigar with RGB owner member Scott Walsh and RSA Chairman Aaron Sirulnick, while around the corner of Cooper Union, boisterous tenants shouted “rent freeze!

In a final vote, the RGB recommended a 1.5 percent increase for one-year leases and 2.5 percent hike for two-year leases for both rent-stabilized apartments and lofts, with a 39 percent permissible increase for decontrolled units.

Members previously recommended between .5 to 2.75 percent increase for one-year leases and a 1.5 to 3.75 percent hike for two-year leases in the board’s preliminary vote in May.

Ahead of the meeting, Strasburg said he wasn’t optimistic about the outcome of the vote.

“You would think, in light of what happened in Albany, the board would approve a higher increase,” Strasburg said. “But we’re not sure they will act responsibly.”

“Tonight is the last line of defense. This is small property owners taking a stand against the evisceration of owner profits,” Sirulnick said. “We are hoping the board will use the opportunity to do the right thing.”

The RGB also approved a proposal to keep rent increases on hotels and SROs flat, with no vacancy bonus. The measure passed seven to two.

A proposal put forth by tenant member Sheila Garcia —which recommended a rent freeze for one-year renewals and 1 percent increases for two-year proposals — failed three to six, with public member German Tejeda voting yes along with the two tenant members. The vote was met with shouts of “shame!” from the crowd.

Owner member Scott Walsh put forth proposal 12 to cap rent increases based on the number of rent-stabilized units in an apartment building. Walsh struggled to read his testimony as a tenant who had fashioned a megaphone out of a sign broke through the barricade before security sprang into action. The entirety of Walsh’s speech was inaudible as tenants shouted “Shame on you.” The measure failed two to seven.

The vote comes on the heels of a sweeping package of rent laws that eliminated the vacancy bonus, luxury decontrol, vacancy decontrol and put caps on Major Capital Improvements and Individual Apartment Improvements, two programs that allowed landlords to justify rent increases through renovations. The changes put new pressure on the Rent Guidelines Board to pass legislation that would relieve the financial squeeze as landlords stare down the barrel of the new rent laws.

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)

Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys

Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys
Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio
Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out

Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out
20 West 33rd Street (20West33rd)

Furnishing firm picks up 4 condos at 60 Guilders, Carlyle’s Midtown South project

Furnishing firm picks up 4 condos at 60 Guilders, Carlyle’s Midtown South project
902 Drew Street and 400 East 58th Street (Google Maps)

New York’s multifamily sales improve in Q3

New York’s multifamily sales improve in Q3
Bank OZK CEO George Gleason (Unsplash; Bank OZK)

Bank OZK’s lending up in third quarter

Bank OZK’s lending up in third quarter
The number of mortgage borrowers in Covid-19 forbearance plans ticked down again this week. (iStock)

3M homeowners remain in forbearance

3M homeowners remain in forbearance
Phil Collins wants to sell his Miami Beach mansion for $40M, but his ex-wife won’t leave

Phil Collins wants to sell his Miami Beach mansion for $40M, but his ex-wife won’t leave

Phil Collins wants to sell his Miami Beach mansion for $40M, but his ex-wife won’t leave
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...