Rent Guidelines Board to vote on rent freeze

Cost of managing stabilized buildings down amid low oil prices

Mayor Bill de Blasio and a past Rent Guidelines Board meeting
Mayor Bill de Blasio and a past Rent Guidelines Board meeting

The city’s Rent Guidelines Board is set to vote Monday night on whether to extend the rent freeze for stabilized apartments by another year.

In a preliminary vote last month, the board said it would consider increases of 0 to 2 percent for one-year leases and 0.5 to 3.5 percent for two-year leases. Those numbers were based on a study that found the cost of operating apartment buildings fell by 1.2 percent last year due to lower oil prices.

Last year, the board voted to freeze rents for the city’s 1 million stabilized apartments for the first time ever.

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Raun Rasmussen of Legal Services NYC, a nonprofit that helps low-income tenants, told DNAinfo that “any rent increase is a bad increase for our clients.”

Meanwhile, Marcus & Millichap’s Shaun Riney argued that the rent freeze hurts landlords.

“The risk of buying a rent-stabilized property has increased exponentially,” Riney said. “Mom-and-pop owners who have been doing everything right the last 20 years are getting hurt. [The freeze] basically guarantees the city will be run by professional management and landlords. The small three-to-five building owner cannot compete.” [DNAinfo]Konrad Putzier