Landlord groups: Postpone vote on rent increase

Hearings to set hikes on rent-stabilized leases scheduled for next week

TRD New York /
Mar.March 27, 2020 09:51 AM
RSA's Joe Strasburg, CHIP's Jay Martin and REBNY's James Whelan (Illustration by The Real Deal)

RSA’s Joe Strasburg, CHIP’s Jay Martin and REBNY’s James Whelan (Illustration by The Real Deal)

The three main trade associations for New York City’s landlords are jointly asking the city to put off a vote on rent increases for rent-stabilized housing.

In a letter, the Rent Stabilization Association, Community Housing Improvement Program and Real Estate Board of New York urged Deputy Mayor Vicki Been to delay action by the Rent Guidelines Board.

Deputy Mayor Vicki Been (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

Deputy Mayor Vicki Been (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

The board holds public hearings each year, starting in April, as part of its review process to determine how much landlords can raise rents on one- and two-year leases. The final vote, held in June, is typically a packed event at the Cooper Union’s Great Hall.

The trade associations, whose members own the lion’s share of New York City’s rent-stabilized housing, are not always in lock-step; they represent different slices of the real estate industry. But the heads of the three groups wrote to Been that the “crisis and resulting disruptions to nearly every aspect of daily life has had an impact on both present and future planning for every industry.”

“The city is considering the postponement or suspension of many city-imposed deadlines and processes until the State of Emergency has lifted,” the letter reads. “We believe similar consideration should be given to the Rent Guidelines Board process of determining annual rent increases for stabilized units — a process that typically begins next week.”

The letter did not otherwise explain why it should be delayed. It is also unclear what would happen to rent increases if the meetings were postponed. Some tenant advocates are pushing for a rent freeze, if not a rent strike.

Last year, the rent board approved increases of 1.5 percent for one-year leases and a 2.5 percent for two-year leases for rent-stabilized apartments and lofts. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who appoints board members, said this week he would have something to say soon about this year’s process. Early in his tenure he called for zero increase and the board agreed to that for one-year leases, but he has not repeated that call and the board has since allowed modest rent hikes.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, many multifamily landlords had hoped that the rent board would take into consideration the tenant-friendly reforms passed last year in New York, and approve more generous increases. That outcome now seems all but impossible.

Update: On Friday evening, the mayor said he would work with the state to cancel the Rent Guidelines Board process for a year, which would have the effect of freezing regulated rents.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Lynn Kotler (inset) and 230 West 147th Street (Credit: NY Courts; Google Maps)

Landlords notch win as judge denies tenants in overcharge case

Landlords notch win as judge denies tenants in overcharge case
Landlord petition for a property tax strike in response to rent strikes used a Black Lives Matter slogan (Credit: background via ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Property tax strikers: “We can’t breathe”

Property tax strikers: “We can’t breathe”
A Brooklyn tenant hangs a sign from his roof in May 2020 (Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Rent board casts preliminary vote in favor of freezing rents

Rent board casts preliminary vote in favor of freezing rents
From left: Senator Julia Salazar, Time Equities CEO Francis Greenburger, Housing Justice for All's Cea Weaver and Belkin Burden LLP's Sherwin Belkin

Real estate pros and foes clash on rent strike, Covid response

Real estate pros and foes clash on rent strike, Covid response
(Credit: iStock, Change.org)

Petition: Landlords should go on “tax strike” to counter rent strike

Petition: Landlords should go on “tax strike” to counter rent strike
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal, de Blasio by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images, iStock)

Mayor’s tenant agenda short on muscle

Mayor’s tenant agenda short on muscle
Judge Janet DiFiore and Judge Rowan Wilson (Credit: iStock, New York State Courts)

High court decision has tenants stewing, landlords oohing

High court decision has tenants stewing, landlords oohing
Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Cuomo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images; iStock)

New York state halts evictions statewide due to coronavirus

New York state halts evictions statewide due to coronavirus
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...