On February 26, 2010, the Office of the Attorney General (in lieu of the Rental Housing Commission due to vacancies) published the new CPI-W that governs the standard annual rent increase for units under rent control. The new CPI-W figure is 0.05 percent – a dramatic reduction from the current CPI of 4.8 percent. The new 0.05 percent CPI will apply to rent increases that take effect between May 1, 2010 and April 30, 2011.
Under the rent control law, the maximum “standard” or annual rent increase for elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities is just the CPI percent, and for all other tenants it is CPI + 2 percent. Thus, for elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities, the maximum standard rent increase will be 0.05 percent of the current rent charged. For all other tenants, the maximum standard annual rent increase will be 2.05 percent of the current rent charged.
Each year, the RHC calculates the “rent control” CPI by averaging 6 bi-monthly CPI-W percentages for the Washington DC-Baltimore (DC, MD, VA, WV) Metropolitan area, as reported by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics during the previous calendar year. The Commission’s most recent Chairperson certified his calculation prior to vacating his seat in mid-January.