Tenants should be extra sure when they sign new leases that the six-month freeze is reflected, and that the 1.5% increase comes at the right time.
In an unusual move prompted by the pandemic, the board broke down leases monthly. For one-year leases, the board approved a 0% increase for the first six months of a lease and a 1.5% increase for the latter six months. It is the first time the group chose to split the one-year lease increase into two six-month time periods.
Because the one-year leases are a combination of a six-month rent freeze, then six months of a rent increase, the board’s vote is probably going to confuse a lot of people — landlords and tenants alike, said Andrea Shapiro of the tenant advocacy group Met Council for Housing.
If your landlord is not complying with the rent rules, tenants can contact the Tenant Protection Unit at the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
Due to the pandemic, the state’s rent relief program offers an option: Those approved will get a one-year rent freeze that overrides the RGB’s increase.