Rent increases are mainstays of modern life. Whether you’re renting in big cities like San Francisco or New York or the suburbs, increased rent is no surprise these days. However, just because rent hikes are inevitable doesn’t mean you can’t prosper when your landlord increases your rent.
Read on for several ways to deal with rent increases to live your best life regardless of rent hikes.
#1 Understand Your Rental Agreement
If knowledge is power, knowledge about your rental agreement can help you power through rent hikes. That’s because your contract will almost always include the following information:
- Advance notice requirements – All states stipulate that when a landlord increases rent, they must notify their tenants. While most states have a 30-day rent increase notice requirement, others may have a 60-day notice requirement. Your rental agreement will contain your proper notice requirement. If your landlord must provide a 30-day notice, but they only give you two weeks, you may be able to fight the rent increase.
- Your lease information – Most leases state that rents can only be raised at the end of a lease cycle. If you’re on a year-to-year lease, your landlord can only increase your rent at the end of the yearly lease cycle. Month-to-month leases operate similarly.
- The amount your rent can rise – A common question asked when it comes to a rent hike is “how much can a landlord increase rent?”. While a few states have limits on how much a landlord can raise your rent, most do not. That said, landlords in all states might include a rent increase limit right in your contract. You can then refer to this limit of the maximum rent increase if your landlord tries to exceed it. For example, your contract might state that your landlord cannot raise your rent by more than seven percent each lease cycle. If your landlord wishes to increase your rent by more than seven percent, you can remind them of the contract.
A landlord who wishes to increase your rent unfairly may have forgotten your contract’s terms. Gently reminding them of the terms outlined in your contract is a solid first step in dealing with unfair rent increases.
#2 Budget and Plan
When looking for answers as to why rent is increasing, one possible outcome you’ll find is inflation.
Rent increases and inflation go together like lounge chairs and community swimming pools.
When inflation increases, increased rent tends to follow suit. While it may be challenging to determine how to deal with inflation, one thing you can definitely look out for is the rental price. If you know a high inflationary period is on the horizon, you may be able to forecast how much your rent will increase. That way, you can better prepare for rent hikes.
If you don’t know inflation is coming, you can still prepare for possible rent increases. All you need to do is look at rental data over the years.
For example, suppose you’ve lived in a rental unit for three years and your rent has increased by $100 each year. You can reasonably expect another $100 increase at the end of your current lease cycle. You can then take steps to budget for the extra $1,200 expense over the coming year.
That said, rent isn’t the only housing expense impacted by inflation. To keep your expenses down, consider coliving units that include WiFi and washer and dryer services. That way, you can put your extra money towards covering rent.
#3 Negotiate with Your Landlord
Although your contract is typically set in stone, your landlord may be open to negotiating rental terms with you. This is especially true if you’ve been an exemplary tenant.
When negotiating with your landlord, be prepared to discuss the following:
- Your record as a tenant – As stated above, your landlord may be more willing to negotiate the rent increase with you if you have a stellar tenant record. Be sure to mention that you’ve always paid your rent on time and that you’ve followed all of your contract’s stipulations.
- How the rent increase may impact you – Be open with your landlord. If the rent increase may force you to look for other living arrangements, your landlord may be willing to work with you. Good tenants are like wine glasses—you can never have enough.
- If you can trade the rent increase for service – Your landlord may be willing to exchange the rent increase for work around the unit. For example, if your community has a pool, you could offer to maintain it in exchange for lower rent.
If negotiating a rent hike goes nowhere, it may be time to look for another place to live.
#4 Look for Another Rental
Sometimes it’s best to cut your losses and look for another place to live. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for a rent increase to start shopping around. If you know your landlord increases rent at the end of the year, start looking at other homes to rent.
You might also consider coliving. An alternative to traditional rentals, coliving gives you the privacy you deserve and a shared space for you to flourish in your new community.
The best coliving arrangements even include fully-furnished apartments in vibrant cities.
Common: Comfortable Coliving, Exciting Opportunities
Knowing how to deal with rent increases is one of the best ways to thrive in any rental home. Fortunately, Common makes it possible to live even easier.
Our coliving units feature all-inclusive utilities, high-end kitchens, and cleaning services. Talk about living in style.
Whether you’re interested in a coliving unit or a traditional apartment, Common can make you feel right at home.
The Nest. Ways to Deal With a High Rent Increase. https://budgeting.thenest.com/much-can-landlord-raise-rent-per-year-24386.html
wikiHow. How to Negotiate Price When Renting an Apartment. https://www.wikihow.com/Negotiate-Price-When-Renting-an-Apartment