Heads-Up, Your Stabilized Rent in NYC Could Increase Starting This Week
Changes affect rents on one-year leases signed between October 1 and September 30, 2023.
Lucky New Yorkers living in rent-stabilized homes will be facing significant cost increases.
In June, the New York City's Rent Guidelines Board voted for a 3.25% rent increase on one-year leases and for a 5% increase in two-year leases. The changes affect over 2 million New Yorkers living in rent-stabilized apartments and homes across the city. The changes will officially go into effect at the end of this week, and rents on one-year leases signed between October 1 and September 30, 2023 will be affected.
Unfortunately for tenants, the change was approved in a 5-4 board vote. The approved proposition is officially the highest NYC rent hike for stabilized apartments since the Bloomberg era, and after over a year and a half of rent freezes, it will be a major change for many tenants.
Rent-stabilized New Yorkers number roughly 2.4 million, a third of whom are estimated to earn less than $40,000 for a family of four, Gothamist reports. During the vote, tenants and tenant representatives voiced their concerns about the steep increases, which come after thousands of tenants across the city lost their jobs during the pandemic.
In May, tenants representatives had already heavily criticized the proposed measures.
"We condemn the Board for voting to increase rents on some of our most vulnerable neighbors, people from low-income communities of color, especially when New Yorkers are still reeling financially from the pandemic and the local unemployment rate remains one of the highest in the country. Tonight's vote ignores that blatant reality," Adriene Holder of the Legal Aid Society said in a statement during last May's virtual board meeting. "Ensuring that tenants remain safely in their homes must remain a top priority in the days, weeks, and months ahead, and we again call for a wholesale freeze on all rents under the Board's purview."
Landlords, on the other hand, are facing higher costs for property maintenance, and said that higher rents are needed in order to ensure the safety and the upkeep of buildings. Some of them even asked for an 8% increase, The New York Times reports. The board decided to take a middle-ground approach, and was met with criticism by both landlords and tenants.
“The determination made by the Rent Guidelines Board today will unfortunately be a burden to tenants at this difficult time—and that is disappointing,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. “At the same time, small landlords are at risk of bankruptcy because of years of no increases at all, putting building owners of modest means at risk while threatening the quality of life for tenants who deserve to live in well-maintained, modern buildings.”
Initially, the board had actually considered a steeper increase in rents—specifically of 4.5% on one-year leases and 9% on two-year leases—but it was immediately condemned by housing advocates and landlords alike. Nevertheless, this is the highest increase since the Bloomberg era, when in 2013 rents for rent-stabilized homes went up by 4% on one-year leases and 7.75% on two-year leases.