General Question

plasticpen's avatar

New landlord bought my house and he is increasing the rent for next year...what do I do?

Asked by plasticpen (43points) April 22nd, 2009

Is there anything I can do? I can’t afford to live here next year with the new rent, which is absurdly high.

Is this just a fact of life that people deal with, or is there something I can do to convince him keep the rent the way it is, or at least charge it a little bit lower? I’ve tried to talk to him and explain to him that I really love this house and my neighborhood, but he said that he can’t do it. Any suggestions?

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30 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

You can plead your case but the decision is not up to you. That’s a hazard of rentals. It sucks bad but this might be a good opportunity for you too. You might find yourself a better place out of this.

Likeradar's avatar

Bummer. :( Sadly, I don’t think there’s anything you can do aside from pay more or move.

cak's avatar

Like @The_Compassionate_Heretic said, you can plead your case with them; however, if they can get the rent in the neighborhood, it’s unlikely that they will keep it lower.

You could suggest/ask for a graduated increase.

avalmez's avatar

read your lease. it should include provisions for change of ownership including right to increase your rent. if none is included, i think by default the new owner is bound by the original lease agreement and cant increase your rent

Likeradar's avatar

@avalmez I think he means “next year” as in after the current lease is up, right?

Darwin's avatar

Basically, you have to either pay the increased rent (assuming that this will be the start of a new lease) or find another place to live. You can try to persuade him by citing local rental rates (if they back you up) or your history of being an excellent tenant (although he may not know any of that since he hasn’t rented to you before).

However, the new landlord doesn’t have to accept any of that. In fact, he may be doing nothing but telling you the truth since you have no idea what his mortgage payment is compared to that of the previous owner.

Unless you are in a rent-controlled place, a sudden increase in rent when you start a new lease is one of the risks of renting.

Good luck finding a new place – you might find one that is even better than the one you are in now.

basp's avatar

I’ve been in the same situation and there really wasn’t anything we could do. But, it may depend on local laws and regulations…I don’t know. I just know we had to suck it up and pay.

_bob's avatar

You could mow a few lawns or something.

avalmez's avatar

@Likeradar yep, sorry didn’t read the q in full. nonetheless, the lease may specify terms regarding amount by which renewed lease can increase rent. read lease carefully

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Yah the only way you can make an argument is if your lease isn’t up. If your lease goes thru next year then he legally cannot change your rent unless it’s in the terms of the lease. Otherwise, it’s his call completely, and as much as he may be some greedy jackass, he has every right to be.

skfinkel's avatar

Too bad, but it’s his house. If he can get that higher rent, you can understand how he would want to. Agree with all above, however, that if you have a lease, I think he has to stand by it until it’s over. Although, who knows, he didn’t sign it. You might have to check about that.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@skfinkel If the previous landlord signed the lease, the new landlord has to abide by it. By law he accepts the property with any agreements that are currently standing with it.

YARNLADY's avatar

Look at the rental rates of houses in your neighborhood. If you find a better deal, move. If you want to convince the new owner to have you stay, show him the comparable rates and provide the $ figures showing how much it will cost him to take on a new tenant. Include in your argument that you have paid on time, and maintained his property to his advantage, something he can’t be sure of the next tenant.

P. s. I am a landlord, and I would much rather have a good, known tenant than take a chance on someone new.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

If you feel you’ve been a no hassle and steady tenant then see if the previous owner will give you a reference. Add up the rent increase and look around the property and see if there’s something you can offer to work on or paint in order to offset the rent, talk about this with the new owner, maybe they haven’t considered repairs that may be in need or due. When we had tenants, we kept the rents the same for 2yrs just to have steady income from people who didn’t destroy everything and helped upkeep the house and yard.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

It’s normal for landlords to raise rent on their property once the existing lease runs out. They getcha like that a lot of the time. It does suck, but I suggest shopping around before you move out. It may be that the cost of renting in your area has gone up in general, so where you are may still be a good deal even with the raised rent.

YARNLADY's avatar

As a landlord, I just have to ask @BBSDTfamily if you rented out your property, would you charge less rent then the going rate just because you don’t want to be a “getcha” owner?

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@YARNLADY I am a landlord myself, and yes I raise the rent to the going rate but I do not raise the rent just to take advantage of a tenant who is already settled in…. which is what I said in the first place by my last sentence.

YARNLADY's avatar

@BBSDTfamily which “they” were you referring to? “They getcha like that a lot of the time. It does suck”,

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@YARNLADY I was referring to landlords in general… if you rent a property, it usually is an issue that you’ll come across because rental property rates generally increase each year. It’s a problem for tenants when they’re already settled in and the rent raises because they have to weigh the moving process in with their decision of where to live now. I thought my answer was pretty self-explanatory, so please point out what part you’re not getting so I can explain further.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@YARNLADY Ok I think I see what you’re asking…. There are landlords who raise the rent every year even if the area’s rental rates haven’t really increased or they raise it over the increase simply to put the tenant in the difficult situation hoping to get more money just because the tenant doesn’t want to go to the hassle of moving. I think that is unethical.

BookReader's avatar

…i would come up with options that i can manage without breaking any laws and choose what is best for me…saying goodbye to the house i loved was real for me… homeownership can be a blessing…

YARNLADY's avatar

@BBSDTfamily It’s not only unethical, it counterproductive. You could ask higher rent, and get rid of the current tenant, but how can you be sure the new renter will pay on time, enhance your property, and otherwise be good tenants.

Judi's avatar

how nice of him to give you a year notice! One big question is, where do you live? Some cities have rent control laws. I think that might be your only hope.

jca's avatar

more laws regarding rents exist in structures over 6 units. under six unit structures are usually not covered by laws (for example, if you own a house with an apartment, and you don’t want to rent to someone with a child, you have the right to specify that). check the website for the housing laws in your state. call the congressman and his aide can assist you with your questions. don’t be afraid to ask, this is what your taxes and your vote are for. let us know how it turns out.

Zaku's avatar

Depends on your rental contract. My understanding is the new owner is bound by the old rental contract, until it expires, but if it’s gone to a month-to-month rental. You could consult a local lawyer or tenants’ rights center.

jca's avatar

Zaku: i don’t think that applies to a private house, which i think this is referring to.

Zaku's avatar

@jca Seems like it would be unless the rental contract says it vanishes if the owner sells the house, but I suppose it could be in the laws somewhere, and I don’t even play a lawyer on TV.

jca's avatar

i’m guessing it would not apply. at the very least, when his lease was up the tenant could be thrown out.

it would be interesting if the person who asked let us know the outcome and what his research found.

Don917's avatar

READ YOUR LEASE !!!! The new owner is still bound by the terms of the lease you have. If the initial rental period has expired then most standard rental forms default to a month to month and any notice by either party usuall requires 30 days notice and is effective in as little as the 30 days !!!!! You could survey comprable rents in the area and let this new owner know what the “market” rent for your unit is and offer to pay that. If that happens to be about what his “new” rent is, then you have just benetifed from the previous owner charging you less than market rent…..GOOD LUCK…

MissA's avatar

I haven’t been a renter for over 25 years…but, I would never fight a landlord, Who wants to live where you are constantly looking over your shoulder, knowing there are ill feelings between yourself and the owner? If you can’t work something out agreeably, just find another place. It’s tough moving, but look at it as an adventure.

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