When renting a home, few perks beat the all-inclusive utilities and upscale amenities of a rental complex. That said, there’s one aspect of renting a home you probably wish could be taken out with the trash: rent increases.
For many people, rent increases are a natural part of the rental process. Landlords typically raise rents to deal with inflation; however, other factors may also affect your lease’s financial agreement. But just how much can a landlord increase rent?
The good news is that landlords can’t raise rents whenever they feel like it. Instead, laws regulate when landlords can increase their rents. If you’re expecting a rent increase, read on to learn how much a landlord can increase the rent and when they’re allowed to do so.
How Much Can a Landlord Increase Rent?
While your monthly rent increase is the last thing you’d want to hear about, it’s important to know the laws as a tenant. If your rent went from manageable to burdensome seemingly overnight, you’re likely asking yourself, “how much can a landlord increase rent?” You might assume landlords can only raise the rent by a set amount each month. However, rent increase caps don’t apply to most landlords.
Instead, if you live in one of the 32 states without rent control laws, landlords can generally raise the rent as much as they please. That’s because four factors largely determine rent increases:
- Inflation levels – Inflation occurs when too much currency is chasing too few goods. As a result, the currency is devalued and prices increase. While some inflation is necessary, rampant inflation can lead to a loss of purchasing power. As one of the effects of inflation, landlords may raise rents to offset the losses associated with currency devaluation.
- Home improvements and amenities – Rental homes that include pools, community centers, and other amenities are often in demand. Consequently, landlords may raise rents to help pay for these home improvements and amenities.
- Homeowners association fees – If you rent in a homeowners association community, your landlord may increase your rent to pay for HOA fees.
- Community improvements – Improvements to a community or neighborhood generally mean more access to transportation and increased activities. These improvements can dramatically increase the area’s appeal, which can lead to higher home values. Landlords will typically raise rents to keep up with these rising home values.
If you’re wondering why rent is increasing, you can refer to these options. In short, a landlord typically raises rents to offset inflation and keep up with local market forces. Although there are a few exceptions, the amount they can increase the rent is typically up to them.
Given this fact, saving on housing expenses may be essential to your financial security. Fortunately, some coliving units feature all-inclusive utilities, which are still included, regardless of how much the landlord has increased your rent.
How Often Can a Landlord Increase Rent?
Another question you’re probably wondering as a tenant is, “how often can a landlord increase rent?” The amount a landlord can raise the rent is ultimately in their hands; however, how often they can raise the rent is limited by federal and state laws.
In short, a landlord can only raise the rent after a rental agreement has expired. For example, if you signed a year lease in January, the earliest a landlord can raise your rent is the following January. If you signed a multi-year lease agreement, the landlord must wait even longer.
The same principles apply to month-to-month leases. In this arrangement, your landlord can only raise the rent after the end of the month.
Rent Rules and Regulations
Other rental rules and regulations exist. These rules govern how much time a landlord must give you before increasing the rent.
In most states, your landlord must provide you with at least a 30-day notice. This proper notice must state that your landlord will raise the rent. This is also usually stated in your lease agreement.
However, some states like California mandate a 60-day rent increase notice if the landlord intends to increase the rent by more than ten percent.
Additional laws protect renters from unfair rent increases. These laws prohibit:
- Retroactive rent increases – Occasionally, a landlord might try to raise your rent without providing you with appropriate notice. As a result, a landlord might pressure you into paying back rent. However, raising rents without letting you know is illegal. You generally aren’t liable for this retroactive rent.
- Raised rent as punishment – Some landlords might try to increase your rent to punish you for a perceived violation. For example, if the landlord deems you violating a pet policy, they may raise your rent by adding additional fees. However, this is illegal, and you can often take your landlord to court in this situation.
- Raised rents in rent-controlled units – Rent-controlled housing is housing in which the state limits the amount of rent a landlord can charge. It’s illegal for landlords to exceed this state-mandated rental cap.
Fair housing and control laws are put in place to help prevent illegal increased rent whenever the landlord pleases.
Rent the Right Way with Common
Although landlords sometimes raise rents to deal with inflation and market forces, rent increases can trouble renters on tight budgets. Thankfully, Common makes renting more accessible than ever.
Our coliving units feature all-inclusive utilities, fully-furnished apartments, and responsive home services. That way, you can save money and increase your standard of living—even during rent increases.
Find your new home today and start renting the right way.
Appfolio. 5 Reasons Why You Should Raise the Rent. https://www.appfolio.com/blog/5-reasons-why-you-should-raise-the-rent/
Realtor. How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent? What to Know About Rent Increase Laws. https://www.realtor.com/advice/rent/rules-on-raising-rent/
WFMY News 2. Rent Increasing? There’s no limit to what a landlord can charge. Should there be rent control? https://www.wfmynews2.com/article/news/local/2-wants-to-know/rent-control-nc-bans-it-should-that-be-changed-32-states-have-rent-control-bans-no-limit-on-how-much-rent-can-increase-its-legal-to-raise-rent/83-8dd70971-d713-448f-a9f2-be12b7bd8e5