NEW YORK - After weeks of public hearings, New York City's Rent Guidelines Board has voted to increase rent for rent-stabilized apartment buildings.

The board's 5-4 vote inside The Great Hall at Cooper Union in the East Village on Tuesday evening will result in:

  • A 1.5 percent increase on one-year leases
  • A 2.5 percent increase on two-year leases

The increase is for the same levels that the board approved last year.

In its preliminary vote in May, the board called for:

  • A half-percent to 2.75 percent increase on one-year leases
  • A 1.75 to 3.75 percent increase on two-year leases

The increases will impact tenants whose leases start on or after October 1 of this year.

In its preliminary vote, the board, whose nine members are approved by the mayor, had rejected two proposals: Landlords proposed a 3.75 to 5.75 percent increase on one-year leases and a 4.75 to 6.75 increase on two-year leases. Tenants proposed a half-percent increase for one-years and a 0 to 1 percent increase for two-years.

Every year, landlords lobby for rent increases, arguing that rent hikes are necessary to help them maintain and operate their buildings.

But tenants, about 100 of whom shouted down the board after the vote, say it's becoming increasingly difficult to afford an apartment in the city. Tenants calling for a rent rollback or freeze protested throughout the evening.

"There are landlords that do not do enough repairs throughout our buildings. And now, each and every year we come out here, they want a rent hike," one tenant advocate said outside Cooper Union. "We don't think they deserve it."

Building owners, meanwhile, were left dissatisfied, wanting larger increases.

"By squeezing these owners of rent increases they need β€” especially with what's going on in Albany right now, when owners are being held back from generating any possible income that they can β€” it's going to be very difficult for owners to invest back into their buildings," said Vito Signorile of the Rent Stabilization Association.

Earlier this month, state lawmakers approved a series of bills to give more than one million apartment dwellers in and around New York City new protections against big rent increases. Those protections include abolishing Vacancy Decontrol, which allows a rent-regulated apartment to shed its protections for tenants when rent tops $2,733 per month.

The nine members of the Rent Guidelines Board said they based their votes on research into the costs of running buildings, as well as the costs of living in New York City and the supply of housing.