The Rent Guidelines Board voted on rent-stabilized apartment increases of 2.5% for one year leases and 5.5% for two year leases. Owners had been lobbying for higher increases (4%, 7%) because of increased costs of maintaining buildings, while tenants had been hoping for lower ones. The hearings have been rollicking; the Daily News reported that at last week's meeting, tenants demanded rents to be frozen, leading a board member to say, "Let's freeze real estate taxes."

In semi-related news, the city is looking to crack down on the worst landlords in the city by initiating teams to inspect buildings "from basement-to-roof." Newsday reports the program is designed to make sure building owners in poor neighbhorhoods react to problems in three months or face lawsuits.