Rent Increase Delayed Until Mid-August

Many Cambridge tenants will soon be paying higher rents, because the city's Rent Control Board recently announced it will allow long-delayed rent increases.

Peter Stanton, executive director of the board, predicted yesterday that notices of allowable rent raises would be sent to Cambridge landlords in mid-August.

"Landlords will then be able to notify tenants of a new rent," Stanton said. Most tenants will be paying 9.5 per cent more rent. If special rent increases have been granted to a landlord in the past, the increase may be less, he added.

It Did Not Compute

Landlords were supposed to receive notification of the increase in early July. Stanton yesterday blamed the delay on problems with the board's computer.


Critics of rent control criticized the board for the delay. "It's rent control in a nutshell, just one more example of their total inability to deliver." Richard Fraiman, president of the Cambridge Homeowners and Taxpayers Association, said.

"We'll take our lumps," Stanton said. "If things had gone our way, we would have done it by now. But they obviously didn't go our way."

Stanton added that retroactive rent increases were legally impossible. "The courts just wouldn't let them collect," he said.

The board approved the rent increase after landlords complamea that rent control is keeping them from earning a fair profit.

"Tenants at will" (without a lease) must be notified 30 days in advance about the rent increase. Tenants with leases will be informed under the terms of their agreement.