For a tenant, increases in rent are in no way considered welcome. And although many Mission Valley property managers attempt to raise rents infrequently and equitably, some will raise rents astronomically with little to no notice, leaving you with few viable alternatives. Competitive rental markets and a scarcity of affordable housing have compounded the problem, causing renters to sometimes feel trapped and helpless.
So, what options do tenants have when faced with an increase in rent? Is your landlord required to abide by any rules? Moreover, what does the law say regarding rent increases? Having the answers to these questions is a good starting point for easily addressing any rent increase.
Do any restrictions exist regarding the amount a landlord may raise 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. However, there are rent control laws in some states and towns that place restrictions on how frequently and how much a landlord can raise the rent. In California, for instance, a landlord is only authorized to raise the rent by a maximum of 10% plus any local rent control adjustments. Additionally, they have to give adequate warning before the additional rent is due. Many other locations, including New York City, Oregon, Washington D.C., and parts of New Jersey, have some kind of rent control regulations.
What is the legal position on rent increases?
There is no federal law that regulates rent increases at this time. Many renters may view this as terrible news, especially if they reside in an already costly 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 tenants who will soon be paying more rent have? The law may not forbid rent hikes, but as a tenant, you do have some rights. First, check your lease or rental agreement to discover if there are any provisions regarding rent hikes. 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. Your landlord must comply with the conditions of the lease because it is a legally binding contract. It is also advisable to be familiar with your state landlord/tenant laws, as this topic is frequently discussed here.
A clear justification for increasing your rent may occasionally be required from your landlord. 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.
If your lease does not include a provision for 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. However, keep in mind that the landlord is not required to bargain 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 could conduct an investigation, assist in negotiating a settlement, or offer legal support.
If the increase is legitimate, bargaining fails, and you cannot pay the higher rent, you may have to locate a new tenant or sublease the space (make sure to check your lease to ensure this is allowable). If your landlord is agreeable, finding a roommate or subletting your apartment may be a viable option for you to remain in your home.
In addition to these alternatives, some renters feel wounded or outraged and wish to take action to oppose the rent rise. 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, refusing to take responsibility to keep the rental property clean and in excellent repair is likely to be detrimental. Remember that violating any of the terms of your lease may have repercussions, so make sure you fully investigate your rights and alternatives before making any decisions.
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 particular situation may also be helped 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 Realevate Refined 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.