Rent Going Up? Take Action

Rent Going Up? Take Action
Tribune News Service
By Elaine Silvestrini From Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Rents continue to rise in the United States, but there is good news: Wild, double-digit increases of the pandemic-era have subsided.

The median rent price increased by just 0.77 percent, or $15, between March 2023 and March 2024, according to Still, compared to March 2020, prices are up 21.78 percent, or $373.

Is your rent reaching unaffordable territory?

The first thing you should do when facing a rent increase is to research local rules and regulations that apply. One place to start is on the website of the National Multifamily Housing Council, which has information about rent-control laws by state.

According to the National Apartment Association, 33 states have laws that prevent or restrict local cities and counties from enacting rent control. In addition, some cities and towns have enacted their own rent-control laws. If you live in one of those places, research the law and make sure your increase is in compliance. Possible protections include notice requirements, limits on increases and even relocation assistance.

If your jurisdiction doesn’t have any rent increase restrictions, check what resources might be available to help you pay your rent. If you qualify, financial aid might be an option. You can look on the website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for rental assistance programs in your area.

Your next option is to negotiate with your landlord.

The CFPB warns tenants not to overpromise and not to agree to pay rent they can’t afford. Falling behind in rent can destroy trust and make tenants unattractive to keep., a rental listing platform, offered several suggestions for effective negotiations. If you’re a good tenant, your landlord is more likely to be motivated to keep you, rather than having to go through the expense of finding and screening another tenant who may not be as easy as you. To be more attractive to a landlord, make sure you’re respectful, professional, and punctual in all interactions with them or the leasing agent.

Try negotiating a few months prior to your move-out date. It is always in the resident’s favor to be proactive. Depending on the management company, renewal notices are sent out 30–60 days prior to the end of a lease term. So residents should begin negotiations 90–100 days in advance of their new lease if they plan to negotiate.

If your landlord notifies you that your rent is increasing, don’t necessarily assume the amount is set in stone. Your property manager operates as a business and they’re going to want to find a balance of happiness for their client and themselves. To prepare yourself to respond to your new rent amount, you should research the market in your area to see what other rental properties are fetching.

If you fail to negotiate a rent you can afford, you may have to move. Preparing for this outcome is another solid reason for negotiating your rent price well in advance. Having more time to find a new place and move will increase your chances of success.

©2024 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The Epoch Times copyright © 2024. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are meant for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide investment, tax, legal, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance advice. The Epoch Times holds no liability for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.
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