For a tenant, rent increases are in no way considered welcome. Additionally, while many Chelsea property managers work to increase rent infrequently and fairly, other managers will do it abruptly and dramatically, leaving you with few viable options. Competitive rental markets and a shortage of affordable housing have contributed to the problem, causing renters to sometimes feel trapped and helpless.
What choices do tenants who are facing a rent rise have? Are there regulations that your landlord must abide by? How about the law’s position on rent increases? Gaining control over any rent increase requires first knowing the answers to these questions.
Are there regulations on how much a landlord can increase the rent?
Landlords can raise the rent at the end of a lease by any amount as long as they give the required notice, in most states. The amount and frequency to which a landlord may raise the rent are nevertheless restricted by rent control laws in several cities and states. For instance, a landlord in California is only permitted to raise the rent by a maximum of 10% plus any local rent control adjustments. Additionally, they must give reasonable notification before the additional rent is due. In several other areas, including New York City, Oregon, Washington D.C., and parts of New Jersey, there are some rent control regulations.
What does the law declare about rent increase?
There isn’t currently a federal statute that controls rent hikes. Many tenants may regard this as unfortunate news, especially if they live in an already expensive housing market. However, federal fair housing laws bar landlords from discriminatory or retaliatory rent increases. This means that they are not permitted to increase the rent for a tenant based solely on their race, religion, gender, disability, or national origin. They are also not permitted to increase the rent if you have made late payments.
What choices do renters who are facing an increase in rent have? You have rights as a renter even though the law might not forbid rent hikes. First, check your lease or rental agreement to discover if there are any provisions regarding rent hikes. There may be provisions in a lease that specify how much notice a landlord must give and the maximum rent increase that may be made. Your landlord must comply with the conditions of the lease because it is a legally binding contract. In addition, it is recommended that you know your state landlord/tenant laws, as this topic is regularly discussed here.
A clear justification for increasing your rent may occasionally be required from your landlord. If the landlord cannot provide a legitimate reason for the increase, such as property renovations or market value changes, they may not be legally permitted to increase the rent.
If your lease is silent on the subject of rent increases, you may wish to negotiate with your landlord. This could involve making a longer lease agreement in exchange for keeping the rent at the present level or recommending different payment plans if the rise is too significant. But keep in mind that the landlord is not required to bargain with you.
However, you could consider filing a complaint with your state or local housing agency if you believe your landlord’s rent increase violates the terms of your lease, state or local law, or other rules. They could conduct an investigation, assist in negotiating a settlement, or offer legal support.
You could have to look for a new rental or sublet the space if the rent is increasing legally, negotiation doesn’t work, and you can’t afford it (make sure to check your lease to ensure this is allowable). If your landlord is amenable, finding a roommate or subleasing your apartment may be a viable option for you to remain in your home.
Some tenants may feel offended or upset and desire to take action to oppose the rent increase in addition to these possibilities. While such a response is logical, it would be unwise to take it. For instance, it is not advised to refuse to pay rent because you are upset about a rent increase. After all, doing so may result in eviction proceedings. Similarly to this, neglecting your obligation to keep the rental property tidy and in good condition will only end badly for you. Before making any decisions, make sure to carefully explore your rights and options because breaching any of the terms of your lease may have negative effects.
In the event of a rent rise, it is critical to understand your rights and options as a tenant. Finding the appropriate course of action for your unique case may also benefit from seeking legal counsel.
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.