Explanation of Tenant Rights and Rent Increase

A rent increase is something a tenant never likes to see.

The rental arrangement is just a business contract, but to the tenant it is also part of their personal life because the unit is their home.

Raising the rent is often a business necessity for a property owner due to property taxes, local levies, and other costs.

If that needs to happen, then here's an explanation of tenant rights and rent increase expectations that are generalized for most jurisdictions.

For specific questions about what you can do with a specific property, please reference your local landlord/tenant laws.


1. Written Notice Must Be Given.

Tenants must generally be given at least 30 days notice of a rent increase that is about to happen.

These rental increases cannot generally occur within the operating window of the lease, however, so it typically only applies during the renewal period or on a month-to-month lease.

Some jurisdictions may require 60-90 days instead.

2. Tenants Have The Right To Appeal.

Depending on the rental situation, a tenant may have the right to appeal any written notice for a rent increase.

The appeal may or may not stop the increase from taking place depending on local landlord/tenant laws.

3. Unless There Is Rent Control, There Is No Limit To How Much The Rent Can Be Raised.

This means an $800 per month rent can be raised to $1,500 per month as long as a lease is not covering the tenant for a fixed period of time. Many jurisdictions only allow one rent increase per year.

4. Proper Notice Does Not Disqualify Rental Payment Duties.

Even if a landlord does not provide a proper notice for the rental increase with the time allowed, it does not eliminate the need to pay rent.

Some jurisdictions even allow for the eviction process to begin should the increased amount not be paid.

The tenant has the right, however, to pursue any costs in small claims court regarding the improper notice.

Tenant rights with the rent increase are essentially contract related.

If you have a fixed contract or lease addendum in place, then an increase isn't usually allowed.

At the end of a contract or month-to-month arrangement, however, it is typically allowed in some format.

Limit costs by knowing these rights and local laws and your properties will continue to remain profitable.

Posted on Sep 01, 2015


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