Rent Increase After a Year on Lease

By Tenant

Although landlords have the right to increase the lease, they should only do so within the rent guideline. The rent guideline would discuss the reasons for a possible rent increase but it will not include a cap in the interest rate. If the landlord wants to increase the rent but beyond the rent guideline, then a discussion needs to be taken at the tenant-landlord board. The rent guidelines basically refer to the rental market in the area.

So what are the instances that would make a rent increase illegal?

  1. If the rent increase only applies to you, while the rest of your neighbors are paying the same. But you also need to consider the fact that maybe you’re the only one whose lease agreement is about to end.
  2. A rent increase should only be offered or done after the expiration of your lease agreement. Your landlord cannot increase your rent in the middle of your term because that would make your agreement void with the changes.
  3. If the rent increase was done to “punish” you for reporting violations you have noticed in the apartment or if you have been requesting a lot for repairs and so on.
  4. For a rent increase after the lease agreement, your landlord must give you 30-, 60- or 90-day notice, depending on what’s applicable in your state.

How do you challenge a rent increase?

Of course, not all tenants would be very understanding of a rent increase. In fact, there could be a good number of tenants out there who take the risks of challenging their landlords. But how do you do that the right way?

  • Check the amount of rent offered in other apartments in your area. Compare the utilities included as well as the size and feel of the apartment. It’s the same neighborhood so you’ll probably get a good gauge as to the existing housing market.
  • Look for bargaining rooms. Is the apartment fully occupied? If not, how many units are vacant and for how long? Also consider if the vacancy is because they are still being prepared for the next tenant or if they have been vacant just because the landlords couldn’t get renters.
  • Check the condition of the apartment. Are there are a lot of repairs needed done? What about the community?

Yes, there are really a lot of considerations to make prior to agreeing to pay rent increase. If you are unsure that you would like to continue with the lease, it is recommended that you do not pay the rent increase because if you dispute later on, the judge will take it against you. For any disputes that you may have, you can file a complaint through the RPA mediation center.

Edited on: Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 12:22 am

10 Responses to “Rent Increase After a Year on Lease”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


February 13th, 2013 12:40 am

My landlord told me about the rent increase about 4months before my lease expires. I actually think it was very nice of him. At least I got the chance to compare rent and decide if the rent increase is just right. I ended up renewing my lease agreement.


February 13th, 2013 4:00 am

When we moved in, we had a $100 off from our monthly rent. When we had to renew our lease, the landlord said that the discount has already fallen off and on top of that, we had to pay $30 more. While it would appear that the rent increase is only for $30, there was still the $100 and we couldn’t afford it. So we just moved out but at least the landlord was nice to us and completely understood why we can’t continue with another lease agreement.


February 13th, 2013 7:20 am

Trying to understand market trends in the neighborhood is quite tough because it calls for a lot of statistics. So I would just try to justify the rent increase by considering the conveniences I’ve had in the apartment. Of course, rent increase is not new to me since I’ve been a tenant for a long time. But I learned that if the landlords are really nice then the rent increase would be more agreeable to me.


February 13th, 2013 10:40 am

Thank you for these tips. Our lease is almost up and the landlord has already informed us of the increase. Well at least now we know where to look.


February 13th, 2013 2:00 pm

Which would you prefer? A rent increase or moving and dealing with a new landlord who may be the worst ever?


February 13th, 2013 5:20 pm

Landlords are still businessmen and they will still try to run a business. As long as the rent increase is properly justified and within reasonable limits then I think I could deal with it.


February 13th, 2013 10:40 pm

Negotiations are the first step always. Try to see if the rent increase is negotiable and if you can meet halfway.


February 14th, 2013 2:00 am

If you will go with the rent increase, it’s best to sign a lease agreement instead of sticking with a month-to-month agreement. The reason is because a lease agreement protects you from further rent increase – at least for the year that you will be in a lease agreement.


February 14th, 2013 5:20 am

Landlords can create deals with tenants so it is possible for your rent increase to be minimal compared to the others in your complex. It is best not to talk about your monthly rent though so as not to stir any disagreements.


February 14th, 2013 8:40 am

I read somewhere that some landlords re-evaluate their tenants on a regular basis. So if you damage a lot of things or create nuisance, sometimes you will not be set to nonrenew. Instead, you may be charged additional rent – anywhere between $10-$50 per month.


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