Written By: Alli Masoero, CFP® – Zenith Lead Financial Planner
Not Rich, Yet: A blog talking about finance in a way you’ll actually understand.
I live in Philadelphia, a rather large city, where practically all my friends including myself are renters. I hear discussions about looming lease renewals or new rent costs going up by 10-25%. And I think for a lot of us – 2022 is turning out to be an unwelcome rollercoaster.
Once again, management companies and landlords are shaking us down for all we are worth. Tenant laws in Philadelphia are some of the worst in the country, causing relationships with landlords to be more tumultuous than ever.
Why’s this happening? There’s a long list of reasons from landlords trying to recoup COVID era losses to the chronic housing shortage in the US, but one of the biggest is inflation. Home prices are at all time highs, up 20% year over year (Source: CNN). Would-be home buyers are getting priced out and moving into the rental market instead. And when demand increases, so do prices!
Here are some tips if you find yourself with a large sum rental renewal:
- Request rental history from your landlord to see if this is irregular.
- Landlords normally make their renewal rates slightly less than their new resident offerings. Moving may not be the best option in all situations, but you should always check the market to pressure test.
- Search local rent control guidelines. Make sure your lease does not violate any.
- Offer to pay a couple months up front and they may provide a discount.
Just recently, Brad and I got an email from management saying our utilities will be higher due to increasing costs around the city. Our utilities doubled. I emailed management asking for a report of my usage to explain the increased cost…
Crickets. But of course the next month our utilities were back to normal 😉
It’s important to ask questions and stand up for yourself. Don’t get hustled into spending more than you need to. I know it’s frustrating, but you need to live somewhere, and I know you are not moving back with mom and dad.
Lucky for us apartment construction is at a near 40 year high!
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