Will My Rent Increase?

I can answer it very simply and you probably won’t like the answer: yes, you will experience rent increase every year. No need to panic yet.  There are two ways you can rent the apartment; either you sign a lease or you sign a rental agreement.

Lease is typically for one year or more, while the rental agreement is week-by-week or month-by-month type of an agreement (periodic agreement). Now, when it comes to increasing the rent, the landlord can increase it in both cases. If you have a lease, the landlord cannot increase the rent for the entire duration of the lease. He can, however, increase it when the lease ends and you decide to renew it. If you signed a month-to-month (or shorter) periodic rental agreement, the landlord can increase the rent every month. The landlord has to give you at least 30 days’ advance written notice of a rent increase.

Let’s go back to the lease because it is the most common way of renting an apartment. Before the rent can be increased, the landlord has to send you a notification about the increase. In most states, it is required for the landlord to notify the tenant 30 days prior to the end of lease, if the increase is 10 percent (or less) of the rent charged at any time during the 12 months before the rent increase takes effect. The landlord has to notify the tenant 60 days before the end of the lease, if the increase in rent will be more than 10 percent of the rent charged at any time during the 12 months before the rent increase takes effect.

rent increase

A landlord’s notice of rent increase must be in writing. The landlord may deliver a copy of the notice to you personally. In this case, the rent increase takes effect in 30 or 60 days from the date the notice is delivered.

Alternately, the landlord may mail the notice to you, with proper postage and addressed to you at the rental unit. If the landlord mails the notice, he or she must give you an additional five days’ notice. That means the landlord would have to give you 35 days’ notice from the date of mailing if the rent increase is 10 percent or less. If it is more than 10 percent, 65 days’ notice is required.

Most notices of rent increase state that the increase will go into effect at the beginning of the rental period.

Increases in rent for government-financed housing are usually restricted. If you live in government-financed housing, check with your local public housing authority to find out whether there are any restrictions on rent increases.

Local rent control ordinances may also limit rent increases, or impose additional requirements on landlords. If you live in an area with rent control, check with your local rent control board or your local elected representative to find out whether there are any restrictions on rent increases.

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