Rent increases are a natural part of being a landlord and a tenant. If your building falls under rent control rules then when you can raise your tenants’ rent and by how much is determined by your local rent control ordinances. However, if your rental property is not subject to rent control rules then there is generally no limit on how much you can raise your tenants’ rent.
If you have a lease agreement with your tenant you are able to increase rent at the end of the lease period unless the lease already determines when and by how much rent will increase during the term of the lease. If you rent on a month to month basis then you can generally increase rent at the end of the month as long as you give proper notice. In most states you must give 30 days notice in advance of raising rent and the notification must be in writing (some states require certified mail).
However, there are some circumstances were it may be illegal to raise rent even if the building is not rent controlled. Landlords are not allowed to raise tenants’ rent in retaliation for a tenant action. For example, if a landlord only raises rent for a tenant that previously lodged a formal complaint against him or the landlord raises the tenant’s rent based on a tenant’s race, then the landlord can be subject to a lawsuit. In addition, if the landlord only raises rent for people of a certain ethnicity or for families with children, the landlord can also face serious legal liability (source).
A smart and experienced landlord knows that just because he or she may be able to raise rent by whatever amount they like, it does not mean they are going to at the end of a lease. Long term tenants are often the most profitable tenants because they pay rent on time, are low maintenance and do not need to be sued or evicted. In addition, large rent increases can lead to constant tenant turnover leaving your apartment empty and collecting dust instead of rent. Raising rent is not the only way in which a landlord can raise their profit margins on their rental properties. Landlords that use state of the art are able to find areas where they are over spending, such as on utilities, and make money saving changes. Make sure you have a that is increasing your profit by saving you money every month.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.