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What to Know When Your Landlord Raises the Rent

An Official Notice of a Cheney Rental IncreaseFor a tenant, rent increases are never a good thing. And while some Cheney 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. 

What choices do tenants who are facing a rent rise have? Are there regulations that your landlord must abide by? And what does the law say about rent increases? Having the answers to these questions is a good starting point for easily addressing any rent increase. 

Is there any protocol regarding the amount a landlord may raise the rent? 

In the majority of states, landlords are permitted to raise the rent at the end of a lease by any amount as long as they give the required notice. Nonetheless, certain towns and states have enacted rent control laws that restrict the amount and frequency of rent increases by landlords. For example, in California, a landlord may increase the rent by 10% plus any local rent control adjustments and no more. Also, proper notice must be given before the increased 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 does the law declare about 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. However, landlords are not allowed to increase the rent in a discriminatory or retaliatory way under federal fair housing laws. This means that they cannot increase the rent for a tenant based on their color, religion, gender, disability, or national origin, nor can they do so if you have made late payments. 

What choices do tenants who will soon be paying more rent have? You have certain rights as a renter, even if the law does not ban rent hikes. To start, it’s crucial to review your lease or rental agreement to discover if there are any restrictions on rent increases. 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 is required to abide by the provisions of the lease because it is a legally enforceable document. Understanding your state landlord-tenant laws is another smart practice; this topic is frequently covered here. 

A clear justification for increasing your rent may occasionally be required from your landlord. The landlord might not be able to lawfully raise the rent if they cannot provide a good 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. Yet, remember that the landlord is not required to come to an agreement with you. 

Alternatively, you could 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 other laws. 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. 

Some tenants may feel offended or upset and desire to take action to oppose the rent increase in addition to these possibilities. Although such a response is understandable, it is not prudent. For instance, it is not advised to withhold rent out of resentment over a rent rise as this could result in eviction proceedings. Similarly, refusing to take responsibility to keep the rental property clean and in excellent repair is likely to be detrimental. 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’s critical to understand your options and rights as a tenant in the event of a rise in rent. Finding the appropriate course of action for your particular situation may also be aided by consulting a legal expert. 

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