What to Do When Your Rent Goes Up
Updated: 1 day ago
Dealing with soaring rent prices has become a common struggle for many renters across the United States. The current housing market has thrown predictability out the window, making rent increases an unsettling surprise. However, there are ways to cope with this predicament. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to handle this situation.
Get Acquainted With Your Tenant Rights
It's essential to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that govern rent increases in your state or municipality. Landlords are typically required to provide notices before raising the rent, so they won’t catch you off guard with an overnight increase. The notice period varies depending on the type of rental agreement you have. For instance, if you're on a fixed-term lease, the rent can only be increased when the lease comes up for renewal. This gives you time to prepare for a potential increase. However, if you have a month-to-month arrangement, the landlord may raise the rent at any time, usually with a 30-day notice.
Review and Adjust Your Budget
When faced with a rent increase, it's important to reevaluate your budget and make necessary adjustments. As a general rule, it’s recommended that your rent should not exceed 30% of your income. Use a rent calculator to calculate how much of an increase you can comfortably afford. If you share the rental with roommates, it's important to engage in open and honest discussions about the increased expense. Ensure that everyone is on board and comfortable with the financial implications. If necessary, explore the possibility of finding a new place together. If you need to borrow money to cover your rent, check out this online resource.
Conduct Thorough Market Research
To be well-prepared for a rent hike, it's crucial to conduct thorough research on the current local market conditions. Understanding the prevailing rental rates not only helps you assess the reasonableness of the increase but also equips you with knowledge about alternative housing options. Gaining insights into what is available and at what price will enable you to make more informed decisions.
Taking Action against the Rent Increase
In cases where negotiations with your landlord for a lower rent have been unsuccessful, you can opt to challenge the increase by following the appropriate channels, such as appealing to a rent complaints tribunal. It's important to note that challenging the increase should not be an excuse to stop paying your current rent.
Failing to pay could result in accumulating rent arrears and potentially lead to eviction if your landlord follows the correct legal procedures. Before challenging the rent increase, you should seek guidance from your nearest Citizens Advice, especially if you anticipate difficulties with your landlord. These professionals can provide valuable assistance, particularly in situations where landlords may resort to pressuring tenants to vacate the property.
Moving can be a tough decision to make, especially when you have developed a deep attachment to your current rental home or apartment. It's difficult to let go of the perfect location, an amazing view, or the feeling of being truly at home after a long time. However, if you've exhausted all options and find yourself unable to afford a rent increase, continuing to live there becomes unsustainable. Such a sacrifice is simply too significant, regardless of how wonderful your current place may be.