Although hundreds of local residents face increases in their room rents when present rent control laws expire Jan. 1, University students will hardly be affected by the change, a Cambridge city official said yesterday.
Edward G. Duffy, a member of the Cambridge rent control board, said that the control law passed in 1953 allowed landlords to increase their rents once a room became vacant in the interim between Aug., 1953 and Jan. 1, 1956.
Since most local rooms occupied by students have only been rented recently, landlords have always been able to raise rents Duffy said. He did not foresee a sudden increase, therefore, at the beginning of the year. "Yet may get a few crooked landlords," he said, but most are honest.
Meanwhile, the Cambridge City Council passed a resolution asking City Manager John J. Curry to set up a Fair Rent Board which would insure equitable rents after the New Year. The resolution read: "That the City Manager be requested to appoint a Fair Rent Board consisting of leading citizens representing both landlords and tenants in order to bring the strongest influence to bear, to insure full justice to all in the process of decontrol."
Mrs. Sylvia Clark of Phillips Brooks House, which handles rooming problems for most students who live outside the University, said she had received only one complaint by yesterday morning. "I was very surprised," she added, "because I expected many more."
The University, owner itself of a number of apartment and two-room houses, did not contemplate any rapid rise in rents, Shepard Brown of Hunneman & Co., managers of the University property, said yesterday.
"Most of our rents are very equitable right now," Brown said, "and we don't think we'll have any big increases." The only apartment house which might have had rents that were "too low," he said, was the Prescott Street Apartments which will be turned over to the University next spring anyway.