There’s no doubt that the cost of building ownership has gone up this year, and leaving rents flat will force landlords to absorb some more costs.
However that pales in comparison when it comes to what tenants are dealing with at the hands of unscrupulous landlords on a daily basis.
There are routinely reports of landlords renovating buildings around holdouts and making living conditions unbearable in an attempt to vacate apartments, and then use that vacancy to deregulate the stabilized apartments or get a big bump in rent if the tenant lived there for eight years.
Holding rents steady should be seen as rewarding tenants, especially those in gentrifying neighborhoods, for the difficulties they have faced.
There also needs to be a forced incentive for landlords and tenants to come together and work to address some of these issues.
Until we can come up with a concrete plan that protects tenants and rewards good landlords for doing the right thing, rents need to stay flat.
Right now it seems like only tenants are fighting for fair living situations. The majority of landlords are good, honest people, but as long as they let the bad ones run their buildings without consequence, they all need to be lumped in together.
You’ll get landlords to the table much more quickly if they know rents will stay flat unless things like the vacancy bonus loophole are addressed and tenant harassment is treated with the seriousness it deserves.