How Can You Avoid a Rent Increase When Renting?
In this day and age, more Americans are postponing buying a home and choosing to rent. There are a lot of advantages of renting, like having more freedom to move when you want and not needing to deal with costly repairs. However, rent is rapidly increasing across the country, especially in large cities.
How can you avoid a rent increase when renting? You work hard for your money, and you already spend a large portion of your income on rent each month. You shouldn’t have to part with more of your income just to stay in your home. Luckily, there are things you can do to avoid a rent increase when renting your home or apartment.
1. Pay Rent on Time
It should come as no surprise that being a good tenant will help you avoid a rent increase. One of the best ways to prove you’re a great tenant is to pay your rent on time every single month. Even better, paying early will show you’re a responsible person worth keeping in the home.
Your landlord doesn’t want to go out and find new tenants. Marketing a property is time-consuming. If you can show you’re a reliable, easygoing tenant, you’ll be less likely to face a rent increase.
2. Avoid Getting a Pet
Who doesn’t love coming home to a furry friend? Unfortunately, that four-legged pal probably also comes with hefty fees and deposits. If you have a pet, you can expect to pay a non-refundable security deposit to cover any pet damages as well as pet rent with your monthly payment. Pet rent ranges from $15-30 a month, and that’s not something you want to worry about on top of your rent.
These fees will depend on your specific landlord and location, but if you want to keep your rent low, avoid getting a pet. You can always adopt a pet later when you own your home and don’t have to worry about added fees.
3. Sign a Longer Lease
Most people sign a year-long lease, but did you know you can usually sign a longer lease? During a fixed rental period, landlords are legally not allowed to increase the cost of the rent. This means if you know you’re staying in a place for a while, it might be financially smart to sign a 2 or even a 3-year lease.
However, we recommend you live in your place for at least 6 months before agreeing to a long-term lease for over 12 months. You never really know a place until you live there for a few months, so you don’t want to trap yourself into a long-term agreement.
4. Maintain the Property
Taking care of the property you live in is always a good idea, but it’s especially smart if you’re renting. Not only will you protect your security deposit, but you’ll also be less likely to experience a rise in the cost of your rent.
Landlords often raise rent prices to afford new appliances, maintenance, or other expenses. That means if your landlord offers new appliances, be sure to ask about whether or not it will bring a rent increase. These upgrades and repairs are costly, so take a strong role in keeping the property functional and clean.
5. Know Your Market
If you do have a landlord who’s trying to raise your rent, it’s worth knowing your market. Check out the prices for similar apartments in the area. If you can find a similar place for less money, show this to your landlord. While they might still raise the price, at least you’ll have a greater understanding of the best value in your area.
6. Refer New Tenants
Many apartment communities and landlords offer incentives to refer new tenants. If you know there’s a vacancy in your building, why not recommend your responsible friend who’s about to move to your area?
There might be something in it for you if you refer someone, like a credit on your account or a discount on rent. Either way, your landlord will see you as an asset and a resource worth keeping around.
Protect Your Rent
While every market is different, there are a lot of unexpected ways to avoid an increase in rent. If your landlord is considering increasing the price of your property, see if you can talk to them. Many landlords are understanding and realize that a good tenant is valuable.
Renting can be a great option, and sometimes increases in rent are justifiable, but make sure you explore all of your options first. You deserve to live somewhere you can afford.