How to Dispute Rent Increases

in Legal Issues on by

Rent increases are unfortunate, but predictable. A landlord raising rents at the end of a lease is not an uncommon occurrence. However, many landlords try to raise rents in the middle of a lease.

Citing increased costs or higher demand, your landlord might try to raise your rent by several hundred dollars. Should you face a rent increase at any time, there are several tactics you can try to dispute the extra cost.

Use the Lease Terms

Your lease contract should contain the amount of monthly rent and the length of the lease. A contract that does not have a stated lease term is considered to be a month-to-month rental. If your landlord is trying to raise your rent prior to the end of the lease term, show him the terms of the lease agreement setting forth the amount of rent you are required to pay.

Just as you are bound by the terms of the contract, so is the landlord, meaning that he cannot increase rents in the middle of the lease term for any reason. If your lease is at an end, however, this option will not benefit you. As long as the landlord is not violating the terms of the lease, he has the right to raise rents at the end of your lease term.

Make Comparisons

If you want to renew your lease but cannot afford the increase in rent, your best bet may be to do some research on the rent cost for comparable apartments. Investigate complexes or apartments of the same size with similar amenities. If your landlord is asking an amount higher than average for the area, point out this discrepancy to him and ask him if he would be willing to accept the average rate or the same rent you currently pay.

The comparisons will show him that it will be difficult if not impossible to find a tenant to lease the apartment at the amount of rent he is asking you to pay. This may induce him to lower or forego the increase altogether.

Discredit the Reasoning

If your landlord provides you an explanation or his reasoning behind raising rents he is doing you a favor because you will then be able to contradict these reasons. For example, your landlord says that the cost of upkeep for the complex, such as lawn maintenance, has increased, you can easily research whether this is in fact the case and if it is not point that out to him.

If you are able to discredit his reasons for increasing your rent, he may stop insisting on the increase.

Negotiate

If you are nearing the end of your lease term and have found that you currently pay the average or a lower amount of rent than is typical for the area, you will have little option but to negotiate. Possibly, your landlord may be willing to accept your involvement in the upkeep of the apartment or complex in lieu of higher rents.

By being responsible for lawn maintenance or garbage collection, or by replacing or maintaining appliances, you might be able to stop your rent from being increased.

4 Responses to “How to Dispute Rent Increases”

  1. October 01, 2010 at 5:55 pm, alberto guerrero said:

    hi,my question is iam paying 835.00 dlls for my rent ,but one year a go the rent for the new renters is 800.00 . why is the rent for the new renter less., i have living in this place for 2 years and is a month to month contract.

    Reply

  2. April 24, 2011 at 12:50 am, Arlene said:

    Our lease ends in June, I was informed verbally that July 1st, with new lease it will go from $599
    to $649 (a raise of $50) and as much as I love this place, with the bills that we have and my husband’s medications, we’re going to have to drop one or two of his meds to cover the increase in rent.

    We’re seniors and can’t afford to move since we have nothing in savings, because rent, utilities, truck payment, loan payment, insurance, meds and dr. bills, takes nearly everything we have coming in. We have three years yet on truck payments but I can not give up the truck since we need transportation for appointments, groceries, etc. We only get one refill a month in gas, we don’t drive more than we have too. Bus service doesn’t want our dogs on the bus, they are both service dogs but bus service here says no, they have turned down others with service animals as well.

    I wouldn’t mind a long term (two yr.) lease at the rate we are paying now, or even three yr. if they’d do it, to get the truck paid off and then we’d be able to stay here without a problem. By coming up with more than just a month’s rent, most places want 1st, last and deposit equal to that…..dog deposits don’t affect us because of their service status,

    We fall between the cracks for getting any assistance, food stamps is a joke, we qualify for them…all of $16.00 worth a month, and we can visit the food bank once a month. Everyplace we turn, we are told we make too much money to get help. I’ve not had health insurance, or seen a dr. in over 20 years….we just can’t afford it. I’m caregiver to disabled husband but can’t get paid for it, because we are married. I can’t work outside the home, because of taking care of his needs. SSA has gotten no increases, and I’m not old enough for it yet.

    Tell me, what do we do??

    Reply

  3. January 01, 2013 at 7:59 am, a.w said:

    I have lived in my apartment for 4 years and i just found out my rent increase has now climbed up to $132.00. I am a single mother, that is not on welfare and doesnt have section 8. I can not afford to pay the $132.00 increase with all my other bills. What can i do? I always pay my rent on time, i am not a loud tenant.

    Helpless in Boston.

    Reply

  4. January 01, 2013 at 8:02 am, a.w said:

    my starting rent :
    2009-$1083
    2010-$1100
    2011-$1110
    2012-$1132
    2013-$1264
    really??? am i not suppose to eat? how am i suppose to get to work?

    Reply

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