For a tenant, rent increases are never a good thing. And while some Jenks property managers will raise the rent infrequently, others will raise the rent at an increasingly escalating level and with little warning, thus leaving you with few good options. Renters sometimes feel trapped and powerless as a result of competitive rental markets and a shortage of affordable homes, which has only made the issue worse.
So, what choices do tenants have when confronted with a rent increase? Do any guidelines exist that your landlord must abide by? And what does the law state regarding rent increases? The first step in handling any rent rise with comfort is to know the answers to these questions.
Is there any protocol regarding the amount a landlord may raise the rent?
In the majority of states, landlords can increase the rent by any amount at the completion of a lease, so long as they provide the required notice. Nonetheless, certain towns and states have enacted rent control laws that restrict the amount and frequency of rent increases by landlords. In California, for instance, a landlord is only authorized to raise the rent by a maximum of 10% plus any local rent control adjustments. In addition, they must offer a sufficient warning before the increased rent payment date. Rent control regulations exist in several other places, including New York City, Oregon, Washington D.C., and parts of New Jersey.
How does the law address rent increases?
The federal government currently has no laws in place to control rent hikes. Many tenants would perceive it as negative news, especially if you reside in an area where housing is already quite pricey. Yet, discriminatory or retaliatory rent increases are prohibited under federal fair housing laws. As a result, they are not permitted to raise the rent for a tenant based on their race, religion, gender, disability, or national origin. They are also not permitted to raise the rent as a result of your late payments.
What alternatives do tenants facing a rent rise have? Although the law may not restrict rent hikes, tenants have certain rights. It’s crucial to first review your lease or rental agreement to see whether there are any restrictions on rent increases. In some cases, a lease will include the minimum amount of notice required by a landlord for a rent increase as well as the maximum amount that can be raised. Your landlord is required to abide by the conditions of the lease contract because it is a legally binding agreement. Knowing your state landlord/tenant laws is also recommended; this topic is regularly covered here.
Your landlord may occasionally be asked to give a justification for increasing your rent. It may not be permissible for the landlord to raise the rent if they can’t provide a solid justification for it, such as property renovations or market value changes.
Try negotiating with your landlord if your lease doesn’t address rent increases. For instance, if the rent increase is too significant, you might offer to sign a longer lease in exchange for retaining the rent at the present level or suggest different payment plans. However, know that the landlord is under no obligation to reach an agreement with you.
On the other hand, you could attempt to file a complaint with your state or local housing agency if you believe your landlord’s rent increase violates state or local law, your lease terms, or similar restrictions. They might be able to look into the matter, assist in mediating a settlement, or offer legal support.
Finding a new rental or subletting the space may be your alternative if the rent increase is legal, negotiation doesn’t work, and you can’t pay the higher rate (make sure to check your lease to ensure this is allowable). A smart approach to assist you to stay in your house, if your landlord is willing, is to locate a roommate or sublet your rental.
In addition to these possibilities, some tenants feel wounded or outraged and choose to protest the rent increase by taking action. Such a response is natural, but it is not the best course of action. For example, refusal to pay rent out of anger over rental increase is not advisable because it can lead to eviction procedures. In a similar vein, neglecting your obligation to keep the rental property tidy and in good working order won’t help anyone. You should always carefully consider your rights and alternatives before taking any action because violating any of the terms of your lease may have negative effects.
It is important to understand your options and rights in the event of a rent hike. Finding the appropriate course of action for your particular situation may also be aided by consulting a legal expert.
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.