Skip to Content

What to Know When Your Landlord Raises the Rent

An Official Notice of a Colchester Rental IncreaseIn no way does a tenant welcome rent increases. And although many Colchester 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. 

So what choices do tenants who are facing a rent hike have? Is your landlord required to abide by any rules? Moreover, what does the law say regarding rent increases? Possessing the answers to these questions is a necessary prerequisite for facing rent increases with ease. 

Are there any rules or regulations that limit the landlord as to how much he can raise the tent? 

In the majority of states, landlords may increase the rent at the end of a lease by any amount and with adequate notice. The amount and frequency of rent hikes, however, are constrained by rent control laws in some cities and states. For example, in California, a landlord may increase the rent by 10% plus any local rent control adjustments and no more. Additionally, they have to give adequate warning before the additional rent is due. New York City, Oregon, Washington D.C., and parts of New Jersey are only some of the many places that have enacted some form of rent control regulations

What is the legal position on rent increases? 

There is no federal statute that currently regulates rent hikes. Many tenants might feel discouraged by it, especially if they reside in an area where rent is already prohibitively high. Nevertheless, federal fair housing laws bar landlords from discriminatory or retaliatory rent hikes. 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 options are available to tenants facing a rent increase? Even if the law would not forbid rent increases, as a tenant you still have some rights. First and foremost, be sure there are no provisions about rent hikes in your lease or rental agreement. It’s not uncommon for a lease to include the maximum rent increase that a landlord may impose as well as the length of advance notice required. Because a lease is a legally binding contract, your landlord must abide by the terms that were agreed upon. It is also advisable to be familiar with your state landlord/tenant laws, as this topic is frequently discussed here. 

In some instances, your landlord may be compelled to provide an explanation for a rent increase. If the landlord cannot provide a solid justification for the increase, such as property renovations or market value changes, they may not be able to legally increase the rent. 

If your lease does not include a provision for rent increases, you may wish to negotiate with your landlord. This could include proposing to sign a longer lease in exchange for maintaining the present rent amount or recommending alternate payment choices if the increase is excessive. But keep in mind that there is no obligation on the part of the landlord to reach a compromise with you. 

On the other hand, you could try submitting a complaint to your state or local housing agency if you believe your landlord’s rent increase is against your lease terms state or local law, or other regulations. They may be able to examine the problem, assist in negotiating a settlement, or provide legal counsel. 

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. 

Some tenants may also feel offended or furious and want to take action to protest the rent rise if they have no other alternatives. Though a reaction like that is understandable, it is not a good idea. It’s also not a good idea, for instance, to withhold rent out of resentment over a rent increase because that could result in eviction proceedings. Similarly, shirking your duty to keep the rental property clean and in excellent repair is likely to harm you. It is crucial to keep in mind that breaking the conditions of your lease can have consequences, so be cautious to investigate your legal rights and available options before making any decisions. 

In case of a rent rise, it is crucial that you are aware of your rights and alternatives as a tenant. Searching for the right course of action for your unique circumstance may also be helped by consulting a legal advisor. 

If you’re looking to rent a home that’s managed professionally and fairly, check out what Real Property Management Sterling 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.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details