What to do When You Get a Rent Increase Notice

Two people standing in living room with gloomy lighting. There are two octagonal frames on the wall, moving boxes, and yellow checked curtains pulled closed over a bright window. A man is mostly silhouetted and turned to look at a woman in focus. The woman wears a muddy green sweatshirt and has wavy light brown hair that is loosely tied back. She holds a stack of papers in one hand and the other hand is raised in a questioning manner. She has an expression of bewilderment and upset.

Everyone wants their monthly rent payments to stay the same or decrease when their lease is up for renewal, but sometimes landlords must increase your monthly rent. It's a shocking notification to find in your mailbox, especially if you haven't experienced a rent increase notice before. The best way to approach this situation is to research all your options.

Read on to learn what to do if you receive a rent increase notice and how to navigate this common situation. With the right tips and planning, the process can go smoothly and possibly prevent you from having to move.

Why does my rent go up every year?

The cost of rent across the U.S. hasrisen steadily since the pandemic began. It isn't uncommon to find yourself with a rent increase when your lease is close to expiring. Look for an explanation in your notice that specifies what the rent increase is for.

Many landlords raise rent to cover the cost of renovations, like when theyupdate kitchensto look more modern or work toimprove the property's curb appeal.Even though you're being asked to pay more, these changes will ultimately benefit you if you choose to stay. This may make a rent increase easier to accept.

What is the most my landlord can raise the rent?

Landlords should know how much they can legally raise your rent. Tenants can always find legal assistance and investigate this according to local and state rent regulations.

How much your landlord can your raise rent will depend on where you live. Tenant laws vary by city and state, so make sure to know the ones that apply to you. For example, if your city or state says a 5% rent increase is the maximum allowance, your landlord must stay at or below that legal limit. Still, in many states, no laws exist to limit rent increases, which will make it more of an uphill battle to refute the increase legally.

Some cities also pass laws to make the area rent-controlled, which can include much more detailed regulations. Sometimes, these laws place a total cap on rent with a stabilization ordinance. Other times, they maylimit rent increase frequencyby stating that landlords can only change the rental rate a certain number of times every year.

How do you calculate rent increase?

To determine if your rent increase is legal, you cancalculate the percentage changebetween the old and new totals. Subtract your current cost of rent from the new one to get the difference. Then divide that answer by the current rent amount. You'll get a small decimal number, which you'll then multiply by 100 to get the percentage expression.

The final percentage expression should follow the rental laws in your state and city and not extend past the number of rent increases allowed per year, if applicable.

It's essential to note that landlords typically send a rent increase notice 30 days from when the first higher payment is due. This 30-day period gives tenants time to read through the information and potentially appeal if you want to seek legal action. If you don't get a 30-day notice before you have to pay your next bill, a court may invalidate the increase if you didn't receive it within the time limit required by your city or state.

Look for an explanation

Finding a rent increase notice can be a jarring experience, but you don't have to accept it without taking any action. Look for an explanation that justifies the increase, like using the money for new appliances or landscaping upgrades. If you have any remaining questions, you can always contact local housing advocates to decide on potential next steps so you retain your fair rent pricing.

Created on: 04/15/24

Author: CreditLink Secure Blog Team

Tags: rent, rent increase , landlord , tenant , rent control , rent cap,

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