The housing market is red hot this year.
But it's not just home prices that are spiking right now.
Consumer reporter John Matarese looks into soaring apartment rents -- and whether there's anything you can do about it – so you don’t waste your money.
It’s not just home prices that are rising to insane levels this year.
Rents are following them up as well, leading some renters to say they may have to move.
Barbara Hill Kelly opened her door the other day to see this note that her rent was going up, way up.
"They're crazy! I said there's got to be a mistake,” she said.
Her complex is raising her rent to $875 a month, a rise of more than $100.
"$117 to be exact,” she said. “Per month? Per month!"
But she says her apartment has not been updated in years.
"That’s $1,200 per year," she said.
So what can you do if your landlord hits you with a 10 or 15 percent rent hike?
The good news is they can't do that when you are under a lease.
But when your lease is up they can raise it with just 30 days' notice.
"There is no rent control, so technically the landlord can raise the rent as much as they want to," said Nick DiNardo, managing attorney at Legal Aid, who suggests tenants use sugar, not spice and explain why you can’t afford a rent hike.
"What we usually tell people is the best thing to do in this circumstance is try to negotiate something from the landlord,” DiNardo said.
So why are rents going up? The biggest reasons, according to the report:
- Demand from homebuyers who can’t find affordable homes to buy.
- Rising management costs.
- Property tax hikes.
And as for Kelly, a leasing agent promised to pass our inquiry onto management, but no one ever called back.
If nothing changes, Barbara says she may have to leave.
"I'm gonna have to save, from now until July, to move,” she said.
The bottom line is that if you face a rent hike, try to negotiate them down and let them know you may have to move so you don’t waste your money.