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Rent Guidelines Board Approves Increases For Rent-Stabilized Apartments

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The city's Rent Guidelines Board approved rent increases of 4 percent on one-year lease renewals and 7.75 percent on two-year renewals for the city's 1 million rent-stabilized apartments Thursday night. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.

Each year, the cost to live in a rent-stabilized apartment goes up. It's up to the Rent Guidelines board to determine just how much more tenants will pay.

At a typically contentious meeting Thursday, the board voted 5-4 in favor of a 4 percent increase on one-year leases and a 7.75 percent increase on two-year leases.

The representatives for tenants and business owners all voted against.

Neither side walked away very happy.

Tenants wanted a much smaller increase or even a total rent freeze. They cited their continued struggle to make ends meet in a slow-to-recover economy.

"I'm outraged. This is ridiculous," said one person who attended the meeting. "Tenants are sick and tired of these outrageous increases. We're still in a recession. I'm just outraged."

"The landlords are making money, and the tenants are being squeezed," said another.

"People are barely keeping their head above water, and this Rent Guidelines Board isn't really addressing the needs of tenants," said a third.

Landlords said their costs are rising from property taxes to water and sewer rates. They said that rent should go up more to reflect that.

"The board has once again failed to take into consideration the ever-increasing costs that small property owners have by way of real estate taxes, water and sewer charges, and all the other regulatory charges that the board recognized but didn't take into account in their final numbers," said Aaron Sirulnick, chairman of the Rent Stabilization Association.

The guidelines are in effect from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.

This is the largest rent increase the board has granted since 2008.

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