Building Owners Encouraged to Fill Out Voluntary Survey
In less than two months, deliberations for Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) Order #52 will begin and the Board has mailed out a survey to a random selection of property owners throughout the City.
With the data collected from this survey, the RGB calculates the Price Index of Operating Costs (PIOC), which is an average of building operating cost increases for owners throughout the City and the main component that is used to determine the next set of rent guidelines.
If you were randomly selected by the RGB, you or your property manager should have received the survey in the mail for your building(s). The survey is three pages long and broken down into four sections that may or may not apply to an individual’s building(s). The sections are: Insurance Costs, Management Fees, Union and Non-Union Labor Costs. The first return mailing date for the survey was on February 1, 2020. If you did not complete the survey by the first deadline date, a second survey will be mailed and you will have a deadline date in March. If you were not selected to receive a printed copy of the survey in the mail, you may voluntarily fill out the survey and submit it online by visiting www.nyc.gov/rgbpioc.
With the information provided by owners and managers, as well as other information gathered independently from government agencies and other sources, the RGB then calculates the PIOC that will be released at an RGB public hearing some time during the spring. Please remember that the RGB calculates the PIOC with seven expense components (property taxes, fuel, labor costs, utilities, administrative costs, maintenance and insurance costs).
Last year, the PIOC increased by 5.5%, the third highest price index increase since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014. The increase in the PIOC was a direct result of increases in all major operating expenses for building owners, including property taxes (+7.1%), fuel costs (+13.8%), labor costs (+6.0%), maintenance (+3.8%), administrative costs (+3.5%), insurance costs (+6.0%) and utility costs (+0.4%).
Property taxes and other operating costs continue to rise and owners or managers have the opportunity to reflect some of these increases in the survey. Please keep in mind that owners are not required to fill out this survey. However, RSA does encourage you to take the time to fill it out and return it to the RGB especially if you have dealt with any significant increases in your operating expenses.
In addition, the damaging changes to the State rent laws as a result of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) of 2019 have placed a stranglehold on the revenue stream of the City’s rental property owners. Despite this Administration’s push for historically low rent guidelines over the last six years, a return to reasonable guidelines is urgently needed in order for rent-stabilized property owners to maintain their aging apartments and buildings.
In addition to the HSTPA, if your costs are continuing to rise and the RGB determines a higher PIOC than in recent years, RSA will have more leverage as we seek the highest rent guidelines since the Bloomberg Administration.
The schedule for the upcoming RGB deliberations, including the expected release date of the 2020 PIOC, will be available sometime in late February or early March. For additional questions regarding the RGB survey, you may call the RGB directly at (212) 669-7480.