NEW YORK (PIX11) — The Big Apple is already one of the most expensive cities in the country and now rents are rising at a rate that’s around double the national average, according to reports

The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 owners and managers of around 1 million rent-stabilized apartments in the city, on Tuesday proposed a rent increase of 4.5 to 6 percent on one-year leases for rent-stabilized units and 7 to 9 percent for two-year leases. Renters say they can’t afford that, but landlords say they are struggling to maintain their buildings.

Proposed increases by the RSA are even higher than those previously suggested by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board. RSA presented its proposal to the Guidelines board on Tuesday morning during the first of several public hearings.

“This is a starting point for owners to recover from eight years of rent freezes and inadequate guidelines, and the draconian changes to the state’s rent laws,” RSA Vice President of Communications Vito Signorile said during his testimony. “Our proposed rent increases factor in the current negative inflation trends that will only continue to rise, and they would reverse years of the RGB deliberately ignoring rent adjustments commensurate with its own data and reports.”

Real estate sales person Talia Mckinney says “people are looking to stay in their apartments but COVID leases are expiring and a lot of people can’t afford to stay so it’s pushing people out.” 

The rental market is also seeing bidding wars.