How to Write a Notice of Rent Increase to Tenants
One of the toughest jobs that a landlord or property manager has isn't an eviction. It's notifying an existing tenant that their rent is about to increase at the start of their next leasing cycle. Many people have fixed incomes that are already stretched to the brink. A small change in the rent can mean having to purchase fewer groceries, driving less, or saving less for that tenant. You've got expenses to cover and profits that must be made as well. By knowing how to write a notice of rent increase that is professional and proper, you'll take a bit of the stress away from the issue and give tenants a chance to find other options if need be. Here's what you need to do.
1. Send Out This Letter Before You Send Out a Lease Addendum
The notice of rent increase often needs to be sent before an offer to extend a lease. If you offer to extend the lease without a notice of rent increase, you may inadvertently trap yourself into a lower amount of monthly rent for the next leasing period. Tenants love when this happens, so they're not going to say anything. They'll just sign the addendum and continue on with life.
2. Rent Increases on a Lease Addendum Aren't The Best Way To Go
You should send a separate notice in addition to putting the changes in rent in writing. Just because you have a minimum amount of rent increases listed in your lease doesn't mean that a tenant understands this. Be clear and be precise about how much you plan to increase the rent and you'll head off problems before they start.
3. Keep The Language Simple
You don't need to write a three page letter to the tenant to explain why you're raising the rent. Your reasons are your own. You just need to inform the tenant about what is happening. This can be done in three basic sentences. “For the next leasing period beginning January 1, 2015, the monthly rent that will be due will be $750.00. This is a change from the last leasing period where the monthly rent due was $675.00. Please contact us at the information provided with any questions or concerns.
4. Remember: This Is An Official Notice
If you don't follow the proper channels to notify a tenant of their rent increasing, you may not be able to make that rent increase happen. If you don't hand the letter to a tenant in person, send it via certified mail so that you have a record of sending it and have a record of the tenant receiving it?
5. Don't Forget to Give the Appropriate Amount of Notice
Many landlord/tenant laws require that a tenant receive a specific amount of time for the notice of rent increase so that they can find other options if need be. If you don't send out the notice in time, then you may not be able to charge more for rent or may be required to only charge the minimum amount that is listed in the original rental agreement, even if you want to charge more. Most tenants understand that their rent is going to increase on an annual basis. They don't necessarily like it, but they get it. By approaching the situation professionally and with these tips, it doesn't have to be a stressful situation for anyone involved.
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