Affordable housing is a hot topic because of the lack of housing inventory across the nation, pushing rents up beyond the normal ranges of the past. I have experienced extreme increases in rents twice before in my career where rents in my areas went up 10% or more in a given year for several years. Some areas saw increases of 20% or more. 

Depending on where you live, landlords can increase your current rent any percentage they want as often as they want.

In some areas, they are limited in how much they can raise and how often. For example they can only increase 3% or a % based on the cost of CPI + ___%

Areas such as city of Los Angeles and city of New York have long had laws that set limits on rent level increases, what’s called rent control that dictates how much the rent can go up % wise and under what grounds you can evict someone. Maybe where you live they have that? 

Last week, the State of CA approved a rent control for the entire state following in Oregon’s footsteps. Because the CPI hadn’t gone up in years the rate of increase for LA was 3% (because that was the floor) however the economy is doing better the CPI is higher so now rents went up 4% this year.

In some cities there is no rent control law but they have an automatic mediation clause in the city charter or statutes that says if rent goes up more than __% the tenants can file an appeal and have a face to face with the city commissioner and the landlord to dispute the increase (and a moratorium is placed on the increase until there is a resolution). For example the City of Gardena (a suburb of LA) has that. 

Without knowing where you live I can’t answer any more specifically than this, but wanted to give you some of the “flavors” of how government handles or doesn’t handle rent increases. 

 

My Experience as Rental Investor: 

I own rental properties in several states so I have experienced all these versions of caps on rents and landlord/tenants rights. Usually the properties I have in cities/states with no rent control don’t go up much more than those that do.

 

Where to Learn More: 

To learn the rules, I would suggest you look on your city website (probably there is a housing section since most cities have a branch to administer the Section 8 program), state website, apartment owners association, or just google rental law, renters rights, or rent stabilization, rent control in ______ (city)

 

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