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Boro rents head higher for tenants

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The city’s Rent Guidelines Board gave a preliminary nod Monday to raising rents for the city’s stabilized apartments by 5.5 percent for one-year leases and 8.5 percent for two-year leases.

Queens had 198,244 occupied rent-stabilized apartments in 1999 — the latest year for which figures are available — according to that year’s New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey.

Although it would be the largest hike the board approved since 1989, the jump still fell below some predictions of a double-digit increases in response to heavy lobbying by landlords facing skyrocketing costs for property taxes, insurance and fuel.

The figures instead represented a compromise of sorts between both sides of the rent equation, with tenants countering the landlords by citing their own hardships: high unemployment, a slumping economy and new expenses like the subway fare hike.

Tenant advocates still voiced opposition to the increase, howling and booing at the Manhattan public hearing Monday where the board voted 6 to 3 in favor of the hike.

The board will hold another public hearing June 17 before a final vote two days later, when the proposed increases are expected to win approval.

The board votes every year on the rate at which the rents for stabilized apartments can increase in leases negotiated the following year.

The rent stabilization laws enacted in 1974 cover all buildings of six or more units that were built before that year, as well as some later buildings that opted into rent stabilization in exchange for tax breaks.

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