Will the moratorium continue?
An upcoming judicial determination on the near future of New York City’s current freeze on rent-stabilized apartments has got the sharp attention of legions of New Yorkers.
And understandably so: Reportedly, there are more than one million rent-controlled and rent-stabilized dwellings across the city.
Historically, as noted recently in one publication discussing the current court matter focused on the freeze-or-increase determination, city officials have not been overly kind to renters when it comes to holding back rent increases, despite the assertions of landlord advocates.
To wit: In the 55-year history of the city’s Rent Guidelines Board, that entity has only held back on annual rent increases twice.
Notably, those two years immediately precede the present.
Landlords are irate, with their lobbyists strenuously contesting any prospect for another freeze. They recently argued that the board acts impermissibly when it considers tenant affordability as a relevant factor in the freeze/increase determination.
The judge overseeing the matter recently seemed skeptical of the argument that the board doesn’t have authority to consider affordability, though, given its mandate to consider the “overall supply of housing accommodations and overall vacancy rates.”
“Isn’t your argument really a semantic one?” she queried of a landlord advocate arguing that the board only has license to consider “hardcore landlord costs” like taxes and utilities in factoring in rental rates.
The landlords’ argument, notes one tenant representative, “seeks to balance two sides of the coin by looking only at one side.”
The judge says she will issue a ruling on the matter on March 28.
Undoubtedly, many people have circled that date on their calendars.