THE BRONX - The city's Rent Guidelines Board has approved increases for rent-controlled apartments, potentially affecting some 2.5 million tenants.

Under the new guidelines, the maximum rent increase was set at 3.75 percent for one-year leases and 7.25 percent for two-year leases.

The board had been considering increases between 3 and 9 percent, but their decision nearly splits the numbers down the middle, leaving many tenants and landlords unhappy. Residents argue that the landlords are already making a profit, but the landlords say the hike is necessary to cover tax increases and the rising price for oil.

Tenants will still have the opportunity to challenge an increase on the grounds that the building has violations or that the owner doesn't need so large an increase to cover expenses. The rent changes go into effect Oct. 1.

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