On Tuesday, October 21st, the City Council of Teaneck, New Jersey voted in favor of a rent freeze, but assured property owners it is one-time event. After the 5-1 vote in favor of the rent freeze, Council members told owners that the rent freeze would be removed next year and that the consumer price index of operating costs for owners would be considered in determining the increases in rents for tenants.
The problem with this decision is simple: rent increases are supposed to be promulgated based on objective facts, such as the consumer price index, which shows the change in costs that owners deal with to maintain their buildings on a yearly basis. Teaneck owners are in a similar position that New York City property owners faced just five months ago. Despite rising costs for New York City owners, Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed for a rent freeze from before he took office right through the morning of the final Rent Guidelines Board vote this past June.
Just like in Teaneck, the de Blasio Administration assured the housing industry that a looming rent freeze, a campaign promise from de Blasio, would be a one-time deal. After out-maneuvering Mayor Bill de Blasio and the RGB, the housing industry was able to obtain at least some level of rent increase although they were the lowest in City history. The future of rent increases in Teaneck is unknown, however, the nightmare will continue next year for New York City owners when all nine members of the RGB will be Mayor de Blasio appointees with an agenda that quite likely will seek to finally obtain that rent freeze.