At the end of a lease period, people often find out that there will be an increase in their rent. A landlord can raise the rent for a variety of reasons, including:
1. Cost of Living
With each passing year, overall cost of living increases, and with it, your rent. This is usually a small percentage increase and can often be expected annually. Many times, this percentage is built into your lease agreement as an annual increase.
If an apartment requires a large amount of upkeep to maintain it as a safe and comfortable living environment, the costs to your landlord increase and get passed down to you as the tenant.
This happens most often in older dwellings, but can happen in any apartment at any time. Maintenance of big items like electrical and heating systems can turn into large increases in rent.
We’ve all seen our taxes rise, and that’s also true for landlords. If a landlord finds increased taxes in both income and property, he may be forced to raise your rent to balance out his losses.
When a landlord makes sizable changes to an apartment, in order to improve the apartment, these can often be felt in your rent increase. Improvements can include things such as installation of a central air system, installation of a security system, replacement of all large appliances, and others.
Your rent raises because your landlord had to extend cash in order to make the improvements, but also because your apartment will now be more valuable as a rental property.
5. Change in Neighborhood
The general climate of a neighborhood can play a large part in the amount of rent a landlord can charge for an apartment. As neighborhoods improve and become up-and-coming locations, landlords can take the opportunity to charge higher rents. A town that was formerly an undesirable location can be transformed in a few short years. You have the benefit of living in a better location, but you may have to pay to stay there.
These are just a few reasons why a landlord will raise your rent. There may be other factors outside of your knowledge as well, including rising costs for the landlord and his family. If they need to generate additional income, it might become visible in your increased rent. Though some people do not think this is fair, it is legal in most cases. The fact is if you are not in a lease (and assuming you are not in a rent-stabilized/controlled property), the landlord has the right to raise your rent as he sees fit. And often, your landlord doesn’t have to give any reason for the increase.
Make sure to get any increase in rent (or any other change to your lease) in writing. Remember that a lease is a contract and you have a business relationship with your landlord. Remember to protect yourself and keep documentation.