Benjamin from Allentown, PA wants to know how much his rent should be increased per year. Ah, don’t we all. I’m actually about a month away from my landlord sending me my renewal papers and I’m already anxious as to whether he’s going to up my rent and — if so — by how much.
I wish I could give you a hard and fast answer, but alas it’s kind of up to the goodwill of your landlord UNLESS you managed to somehow get yourself a rent stabilized apartment (New York Only). Then your rent can only increase by a level set by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board (rate increase is currently under debate due to a court order).
For those of you asking, “What’s a rent stabilized apartment”, it’s an apartment that’s been occupied since before 1971 (sigh). More details here.
So, assuming you don’t have a rent stabilized pad, what should you expect? Probably between a $25-100 increase depending on the current rent you pay and how many roommates you have (logic is each person might get a $25 increase etc). Some landlords do a percentage of your monthly rent, typically between 2-5%.
But, again, remember that the monthly rent is always open for negotiation. And, if you’ve been a good tenant, your landlord is much more likely to work with you. Just think about it, why would they want to go to the trouble to find a new tenant who could be HORRIBLE if you’re great and already living in the place?
That my friends, is your bargaining chip.
Also, feel free to talk to your landlord about next year’s lease before he/she comes to you. It shows responsibility and foresight. This is an especially good tactic if you have special circumstances (like, say you lost your job and can’t handle a rent increase).
If you have other specific rental Q’s, let us know!
P.S. Sharon — we’ll get to yours next:)