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What to Know When Your Landlord Raises the Rent

An Official Notice of a Chamblee Rental IncreaseAs a tenant, rent increases are not welcome at all. And although many Chamblee property managers endeavor to raise rent occasionally and reasonably, others will do so suddenly and dramatically, leaving you with few viable options. Renters sometimes experience a sense of being trapped or helpless as a result of competitive rental markets and a shortage of affordable housing. 

Then what do tenants who are facing a rent rise have as options? Is your landlord required to follow certain rules? And what does the law state regarding rent increases? Possessing the answers to these questions is a necessary prerequisite for facing rent increases with ease. 

Is there a limit to how much a landlord can raise the rent? 

In the majority of states, landlords can increase the rent by any amount at the completion of a lease, so long as they provide the required notice. However, several cities and states have rent control laws that regulate the amount and frequency of rent increases required by landlords. For instance, a landlord in California is only permitted to raise the rent by a maximum of 10% plus any local rent control adjustments. Additionally, they must offer sufficient notice before the rent increase is due. Rent control regulations exist in several other places, including New York City, Oregon, Washington D.C., and parts of New Jersey. 

What are the legal boundaries regarding raising the rent? 

There isn’t currently a federal statute that controls rent hikes. For many tenants, especially those who reside in areas where housing is already highly expensive, this may feel like bad news. However, landlords are not allowed to increase the rent in a discriminatory or retaliatory way under federal fair housing laws. This means that they cannot increase the rent based on a tenant’s religion, gender, race, disability, or national origin, nor may they increase the rent because of late payments. 

What choices do tenants who are facing a rent rise have? You have certain rights as a renter, even if the law does not ban rent hikes. It’s crucial to first review your lease or rental agreement to see whether there are any restrictions on rent increases. Sometimes, a lease will include the amount of notice required for a rent increase and the maximum increase allowed. Because a lease is a legally binding contract, your landlord must abide by the terms that were agreed upon. In addition, it is recommended that you know your state landlord/tenant laws, as this topic is regularly discussed here. 

Your landlord may occasionally be asked to give a justification for increasing your rent. The landlord might not be able to lawfully raise the rent if they cannot provide a good justification for it, such as property renovations or market value changes. 

Try negotiating with your landlord if your lease doesn’t address rent increases. This can entail negotiating a longer lease in exchange for maintaining the present rent or recommending different payment plans if the increase is too significant. But keep in mind that the landlord is not required to bargain with you. 

On the other hand, you could attempt to file a complaint with your state or local housing agency if you believe your landlord’s rent increase violates state or local law, your lease terms, or similar restrictions. They might be in a position to conduct an investigation, assist in negotiating a settlement, or offer legal support. 

If the increase is lawful, negotiation fails, and you cannot pay the higher rent, you may have to locate a new rental or sublease the space (make sure to check your lease to ensure this is allowable). You may be able to stay in your home with the help of a roommate or a subtenant if your landlord is amenable to it. 

In addition to these choices, some tenants are offended or upset and desire to take action to oppose the rent increase. Though such a reaction is normal, it is not advisable. For example, refusal to pay rent out of anger over rental increase is not advisable because it can lead to eviction procedures. Similarly, shirking your duty to keep the rental property clean and in excellent repair is likely to harm you. It is essential to keep in mind that violating the conditions of your lease can have repercussions, so be careful to investigate your legal rights and available alternatives before making any decisions. 

It is important to understand your options and rights in the event of a rent hike. To determine the appropriate course of action for your unique circumstance, it may also be good to seek legal counsel. 

If you’re looking to rent a home that’s managed professionally and fairly, check out what Real Property Management Greenway has to offer. You can call our office or view our listings online.   

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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