It's been a rough couple of years for everyone, and renters are no exception — especially when it comes to rent hikes.
Red Bull / Via giphy.com
Of course, unexpected or unreasonable rent increases have always been a thing — they've just sort of been more in the limelight thanks to COVID.
I asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me about their own experiences with the rent suddenly becoming too damn high, and here's what people had to say:
1."My landlord is raising rent by 20% for everyone *and* charging an additional fee for “community improvements” (not sure what those “improvements” actually are). Just feels like a big old fuck you. We’re going to wind up just paying it because all the other apartments in this area are exactly the same price. The only way to escape it would be to move way out and drive for an hour each way to get to/from work. I really don’t want to do that unless we have no other choice."
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"So instead, we’re cutting expenses — sacrificing more fun things to offset the rent increase, like dining out, video games, and streaming services. We make decent money and we could afford some fun things while still saving and investing — mainly because we chose the less-fancy, lower-cost apartment. Well, now the less-fancy apartment costs as much as the fancy apartment. So the fun things have to go.
And if you’re thinking 'just buy a house' — we tried. Believe me, we tried. We’re fortunate enough to have a >20% down payment saved up. But that’s not enough anymore. We can’t compete with the investors offering all-cash bids, sight unseen, inspection waived, and no contingencies. We can’t even get in to look at a house before it gets snapped up by an investor.
I know it’s irrational, but I feel really ashamed and humiliated by not being able to 'win' in this housing/rental market." —NebulaTuesday
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2."I started out in central Texas, in 2013 at a duplex built in the '70s in a nice neighborhood. Old trees, street cleaner, water, and trash pick up paid for. I was pretty happy. Rent was in the mid 600's and the owners were a realty married couple that had a well-known respectable reputation. Then, both passed away within 18 months of each other."
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"The new owner raised the rent every year for the next six years and I thought it was strange that he would ask for certain things right before his next assessment. I had lived there for nine years and in the eighth year, he suddenly wanted to know about my finances asking for pay stubs and the neighbors as well. Once he had that info his rent went up so high for the neighbor that she had to move out. It was the same for me the next year. Rent: now asking for $930 and instead when I moved out he charged new peeps $1200, electric $150–$200 monthly already. $15 extra a month/furnace filters." —ke5ety
3."The rent offer that allowed me to move closer to work during the pandemic ended this year so my rent went up by $250. I save some money on gas with the closer commute and it was an expected increase but I also didn’t make the extra money I was hoping to make a year later to keep up. Then, an extra $100 annual increase was tacked on. My rent went up by $350 a month. Can barely make it in LA anymore. Feels like drowning."
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4."In North Austin, TX in a 2-bed/2-bath apartment that my partner and I have been in since 2018. We started out in this complex in 2015 with a 1-bed/1-bath w/ study for just under $1,000/month. They’re renovating the entire complex so we have to move out by November, and we currently are paying about $1,350/month including trash and water."
"We looked at moving within the complex and for the same size, renovated (new floors and appliances) it’s going to be almost $1,900/month. We shopped around a bit but everything else in our area is about the same or more. The cheapest we found was $1,700ish for slightly smaller than what we have now. We took the option for a 5% increase to extend our lease from June to November in the hopes that the market will chill out a little by then, but Austin is growing so much that we’re likely to get priced out and have to move outside the city limits within a year or two. We almost had a house in 2020 but then with the economy crashing we had to pull our offer and now the market is so ridiculous here that we would get laughed out of our bank if we went to try to get approved for the mortgage necessary." —lkay09
5."In 2011, in Stockton, CA you could get a one-bedroom for $620 a month. Now in 2022, it's $1,500 plus $150 for sewage and water."
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6."My landlords were going to up my rent by $100 and I had just lost my job. I had a new job lined up but with a substantial pay cut."
"I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they could not raise the rent and explained my situation. They are still upping my rent but only by $75 now. I know it isn’t much, but it makes a difference for me and all I had to do was ask." —lizzy_lou
7."My husband has been renting our current home for roughly four years now. During that time the landlord has made zero repairs to the home, despite stating he would do so upon inspections. We recently received a letter stating we are to be out within 60 days so that they can remodel the entire home and raise the rent by $1,000."
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8."My rent was just raised $354!!"
"And it’s not even worth it to move into a different apartment because it would end up costing thousands to do so. So instead, I’m staying another six months and hoping to have a new living situation figured out by then." —Nicole
9."My apartment was sold to a new management company. I was paying $1,158 for a 14-month lease, they raised the rent to $1,405."
"That’s a $247 increase. The apartment is not updated, there are foundation issues, and an old carpet. Some of my doors won’t lock or stay shut because of the foundation. I went to other apartments and prices compared them, there were bigger apartments, updated and more amenities for the same price as what they were trying to get from me. I told them this wasn’t a good business decision and you're going to lose your residents. They caved a little and took the rent down to $1,330, but I know it’ll raise next year, too. I love the complex, it’s safe, close to a bunch of bars, and quiet. But unfortunately, this will be my last year here because I refuse to pay that price for an un-updated apartment." —lstine90
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10."I’ve lived in my apartment complex for eight years. Yes, rent continued to go up. But this time, it went up by $355 a month!"
"$1,776 a month for a one-bedroom. Well, at least I won’t forget that number. Just like the Americans broke off from the British, I broke off from my complex and found a new home with friends." —childofthe90s
11."Tried to increase our rent when it came up for renewal at the one-year mark…during the middle of a global pandemic when rent prices had just significantly decreased across the board. I pointed out that the same apartment (it was a large building) was available on their website for $200 less than we were currently paying."
"The response was, 'well you can’t have that one but you can move to a month-to-month lease for a $300 increase instead of $500.' Got out of there so quick!" —a4c1bf3df6
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12."I don't bother looking at apartments that aren't rent-stabilized so I've never personally dealt with a price hike but this post made me curious about some of my old places. A 3br I lived in that was $2,400 in 2019 is now $3,000 and a 2br that was $1,600 in 2016 is now $2,500."
"I know for a fact the same person still owns the building with the 2br and there's no way in hell she would have done anywhere near enough fixing up to justify that much of an increase. It's a "trendy" (read: in the midst of gentrification) neighborhood, though, so I'm not all that surprised." —werewolfandswearwolf
13."We're currently paying $1,238 for a 2-bedroom apartment; not including electricity and insurance. Our apartment complex gave us the new lease agreement options: Early Bird 'Special' $1,445, renewal anytime after the 'Special' window $1,517. And if we wanted to do month-to-month until we find something else...$2,093."
"I am already stretched thin at our current rent. We're gonna have to move in July. Still not sure where we're going. I tried to speak with the front office about lowering the price and they said no. When my sister went up there to end our contract for the next year, they told her she was wrong about the rent increase and that no resident's rent went up more than $150. I have the paper in my hand right now that says otherwise. It's been miserable." —vickipdville
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14."Some background, for context: In Ontario, rent control and what landlords can do to tenants are laid out in the Residential Tenancy Act. It protects tenants from most of what people are describing in these comments, including unreasonable rent increases. Forms exist for everything the landlord can do, and time frames they're required to do it in."
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"In 2018 the shitty conservative government took away rent control. So anywhere people first lived after November 2018 is a free-for-all. One of my besties moved into a new condo last year while prices were still low because of the pandemic. He signed a lease at $1,500 per month, a deal unheard of for a 1-bedroom in Toronto. About a month ago the landlord casually texted him and said, 'We're thinking about raising your rent to $2,000 because we're not making any money with you paying $1.500." A 30% rent increase. Because they're not making money. Submitted by text message. All perfectly legal thanks to Doug Ford and his mafia government." —chloesilverado
15."South Floridian native here. My apartment complex was bought out by some bougie company. My first year there my rent went up by $50. No problem. Went to re-sign for a second year and they asked for $1,000 more than my current monthly rate because that’s 'what the market value is for our area now.'"
"ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. Broke the lease and moved out of Florida. Not sure how they plan on turning that dump into 'luxury apartment living.' My dad’s rent went from $2,400 to $4,400 also. He was forced to resign his lease because my mother passed away. He’s planning on leaving Florida as well. Robbing people BLIND." —oliviap45f92630a
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