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FYI: Operating costs for owners of rent stabilized apartments rose 16.9 percent between April 2002 and this month, according to a report released by the Rent Guidelines Board this morning. Owners told the New York Post that they would push for a double-digit percentage increase in rents based on the study. The board will use this morning’s report, along with a report on income and expenses that it released on April 15, to set next year’s rent ceiling for stabilized apartments. The previous report favored tenants’ call for little or no increase, showing that landlords’ net income went up nearly six percent in 2001. But that study didn’t account for this winter’s record-high heating oil prices or the recent property tax hike, as this morning’s report does. The major factor in operating costs jump was the cost of fuel, which went up 66.9 percent. Discounting that temporary spike, this morning’s report notes, operating costs went up 10.6 percent. The study will eventually be available on the board’s website. [4/25/03]

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