2007_04_rents.jpgNot a good week for renters. Then again, when has it been a good one? Yesterday, data showed that the Manhattan vacancy rate is below 1%. Today, we find out that Mitchell-Lama tenants don't get "first dibs" to buy their apartments if their building owners decide opt out of the programs. The Daily News says that the ruling "voids the city's Tenant Empowerment Act," which had been passed in 2005 by the City Council.

And the Rent Guidelines Board released information from landlord surveys that shows landlord costs for rent stabilized apartments have gone up 5.1% between April 2006 and April 2007. While the costs weren't as steep as the 2005-2006 cost increase, the RGB isn't guaranteeing lower rent hikes. We can't wait for the next round of discussions about hikes for rent stabilized apartments; last year, it was bananas at RGB meetings that eventually passed 4.25% increases for one-year leases and 7.25% increases for two-year leaves.

While many New Yorkers don't have rent stabilized apartments, the increases are a sign of how hot the market is. Yesterday, a Curbed reader wondered if a rental lease could be broken before it was up; our un-expert opinion is in many cases where one lives in a fairly desirable location, landlords are more than happy to bring in new tenants and charge them more. (But one Curbed commenter's suggestion that you research and find a tenant to replace you was good, too.)

How much has your landlord hiked your rent? Ten percent is sadly not uncommon. One of Mayor Bloomberg's promises is to improve upon the city's affordable housing. The City does have an affordable housing resource center.