If there are no rent control policies that protect your housing unit, your landlord has the legal right to rent increase. Additionally, if your lease agreement contains a clause stating that rent can be increased within the lease period, the landlord can do so. Otherwise, the landlord can only increase the rent during the renewal of your month-to-month or annual lease term.
What should you do if you receive a notice of rent increase from your landlord? This guide can help you decide whether your current living space is still worth renting or whether it’s time to move to a new place.
“What should you do if your rent is increasing?”
Ask for an understanding time
If rent increases occur at times when you are not well prepared, this can cause trouble. Take the time to talk to your landlord and describe your financial situation. Interact with them, preferably in writing, about how the increase affects you and ask them to give you some time to come up with it. Help them understand that the time given will help you make an informed decision that will not affect the situation further.
As there might be a potential increase of up to 25% in some states, it’s important that you have enough time to figure out how you will manage the additional expenses. During this period, you can explore the possibility of taking up a side hustle, finding an alternative source of income or applying for a promotion at work. In case none of these options work out, you can start considering budgeting tips to help you save some extra money.
Is there room for conversation?
If you have kept your apartment in excellent condition, paid your rent on time, and maintained a good relationship with your landlord, you may be able to negotiate a lower rent increase. This can be particularly effective if you have been a reliable tenant or if you have good communication skills. You can try explaining your financial situation and see if your landlord is willing to reduce the amount, especially if there are maintenance costs involved.
Ask for a long lease on a fixed term basis
Once you have entered into a negotiation or agreed to the increase, it is time to sign the lease for another period. This is a great opportunity to negotiate a longer lease and see if you can reduce the rent increase to some extent. Your landlord might be willing to accept less in rent if you commit to staying for a longer period of time. If you are satisfied with the space and are willing to stay for a few more years, you can negotiate a longer lease, such as two or more years. If you can assure your landlord that you will pay on time and stay for the entire period, you could potentially lock in a favorable rent rate.
Find a Roommate
Sharing your rent with someone else is an age-old trick to manage your expenses. However, you must obtain your landlord’s consent before you proceed. If you choose this route, the interview process should be taken very seriously. To ensure that you find a suitable roommate, check their background and have a face-to-face conversation with them. During this conversation, you should discuss their hygiene preferences, conflict resolution methods, and other important topics. If you prefer living alone, this may not be an ideal situation for you, but it could be financially beneficial in the long run.
If the rent increase is beyond your budget and you can no longer afford to stay in your current accommodation, it is perfectly acceptable to move out and find another place within your budget. However, you may have to sacrifice certain conveniences such as proximity to work, family or friends. If you do decide to move out, you must inform your landlord of your decision. This way, they can decide whether they are willing to let you stay until you find a new home or if they need to make arrangements for a new tenant.