If you want to keep your rent increases on the lowish side at lease renewal time, step inside your landlord's brain for a moment, courtesy of this recent comment posted by a building owner on BrickUnderground:
"So here's how many landlords work," he or she explains. "Upon lease renewal for a market rate apartment I have a business decision to make. What price to offer the next lease? Let's say that the tenant always pays on time. Generally for me this means I don't know the tenants name. A tenant I don't know is a tenant I want to keep."
In other words, renters, keep your head down and your checks prompt if you want to catch a break at renewal time.
It's worth noting that this particular landlord's point is that he may lose the flexibility to cut trouble free tenants a break if the $2,000-a-month threshold for turning rent-regulated apartments into market-rate apartments goes up. For the latest developments on that political hot potato, check out CurbedNY's 'rent wars' coverage.