Employment growth has resulted in a strong demand for apartments, and property owners are capitalizing on this state.
Has your landlord just given you notice, indicating plans to increase the rent? Here’s what to do.
Handling Rent Increases
Rent hikes are inevitable in a tenant’s life. In most regions that lack rent control, there’s no restriction on the amount a landlord can increase the rent. However, property owners can’t hike rents at whim.
In most states, statues govern the timing of the increase and the manner in which communication occurs.
Furthermore, property owners can’t increase your rent in retaliation after exercising your legal rights. While rental increases can be frustrating, these tips will prove invaluable.
Read Your Rental or Lease Agreement
Obtaining a notice of rent hikes is likely to wreck your day. However, don’t storm into the property manager’s office in rage.
Take the time to examine your rental or lease agreement carefully first. In numerous instances, if you agreed to a one-year lease term, rent increase can only occur following the expiry of the agreement.
Check the date on the letter indicating rent increase, and ensure the property owner has given you sufficient notice.
If the increase appears legal within your lease’s confines, you can relocate, accept it, or decide to negotiate with the property owner. Although landlords aren’t legally obligated to maintain reasonable rents for you, some may be more prudent than others.
Furthermore, you may succeed at negotiating a better rate. If your credit history is good and have always made timely payments, the landlord may be eager to negotiate with you.
It’s advisable you negotiate in writing in case of documentation. You could also consider negotiating an extension, if the landlord’s unwilling to negotiate the increase.
At this point, the only recourse is moving. You could request an extension of 3-6 months at the existing rate, giving you the needed time to locate a new place. Unless there’s a replacement in place, this should benefit the landlord as well.
If you’re forced to shift, the last thing you need is a repeat of the past mistakes. So, before relocating to a new space, implement some protections for future use.
The ideal preventative measure to sustain stable rent is a long-term lease. The longer your agreement, the more stable the rental costs.
Regardless of the duration of your agreement, it will eventually expire, so try to get your lawyer to include a clause, guaranteeing that your rates won’t increase dramatically.
Irrespective of your contract’s stipulations, the ultimate goal should be developing a relationship that benefits both parties. Agreeing to reasonable increases ensures the landlord retains you as a tenant and avoids the costs related to locating a new one.
Apply for Excess Rent Orders
If you believe the landlord has charged excess rent hikes, you can take some action depending on your residential area.
If you make a successful application, the order will indicate the maximum rental costs as well as a time limit. If you decide to move out, do so before the new rate takes effect. This will prevent you from incurring any unwanted fees.
For more information on how to handle rising rents in Dallas, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a comment for more suggestions.
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