When a landlord begins raising rent, it can often put the renter in a bit of a financial crush and cause them to wonder what to do. While there are laws that maintain when and how a landlord can raise rent, the bottom line is that a landlord can raise the rent on a renter. If this happens, the best way to figure out the next move is to consider all of the options available.
Negotiating Rent Increases
If a landlord has recently announced that he will raise the rent on a renter for the next term, the first thing to do is to try negotiating with the landlord. A renter will need to sit down and determine how much their financial budget will actually allow them to pay in rent and then bring it to the landlord and see if any compromise can be made.
Most large companies and property management companies do not respond well to an attempted compromise on the price of rent. Property management companies are typically very large and it can be easy for a renter to get caught up in the turmoil of contacting personnel at the headquarter level. All of this red tape can make for a very difficult time when trying to negotiate the price of rent.
If, however, the landlord only owns one building, he will likely be very responsive to a rent negotiation if it means keeping a good and consistent paying tenant. While the increase in rent should not be astronomical, the compromising price should not be lower than what the original rent was. If a landlord has tried making a ten percent increase on the rent, try meeting the landlord in the middle and suggest an increase of only five percent.
Dispute the Rent Increase
Rent control determines how much, in some states, a landlord is allowed to increase the rent on a renter during a given time frame. While some states allow for increases every year, some states only allow increases every three years. So, the first step to disputing the rent increase is finding out what your state specifically outlines in the way of rent increases.
If the rent increase is not allowed within the laws of rent control, it is time to take action and dispute the increase with the landlord. If the landlord is not open to discussion about the situation, the next thing to do is to report the incident to the board or agency in that particular state which oversees rent control.
This complaint should result in a either a negotiation between landlord and tenant, or a heavy fine if the landlord is in violation of rent control laws.
Move out of the Apartment
If negotiation attempts have failed or the rent increase is within the law but simply not something that the renter can afford, the only option left may be to move out. Moving out is probably the last resort as many tenants would prefer to work with their landlord on the issue rather than packing all of their stuff and finding a new place to live.
However, before moving out of the apartment, consider the cost options involved in moving. Expenditures like a new security deposit, boxes for moving, time and the cost of a moving truck may far outweigh even staying in an apartment where the rent has recently been raised. It is a least worth taking a look at before the renter decides to high-tail it out of there.