Raising the rent is a necessary business move from time to time, but it doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable process. As a landlord, you have to make decisions that encompass both your obligations as landlords and the best interest of your tenants.
One particularly difficult decision you may face is deciding when and how to raise your tenants’ rent. Increasing tenants’ rent can be tricky since it requires finesse and composure in finding a balance between maximizing your profits and making sure to charge tenants appropriately.
To succeed in all this, however, you must weigh which option will benefit you and them more in the long run, putting policies into place that benefit both parties involved with minimal disputes.
Let’s take away the stress of rent hikes by exploring practical strategies you can use to communicate effectively with tenants and make sure those monthly costs are going up without compromising anyone’s peace of mind.
In this article:
- Understand the Market Rents
- Be Transparent
- Explain to Tenants Why Rent is Being Raised
- Offer Incentives for Long-Term Tenants
- Make Small Incremental Increases Over Time
- Provide Notice of Increase in Advance
- Stay Up-to-Date on Local Laws and Regulations Regarding Rent Increases
- Consider Offering Additional Services or Amenities with a Higher Rent Price Point
1. Understand the Market Rents
When considering raising your tenants’ rent, it is essential first to understand the market rent that landlords in your area are charging. Researching local rental prices and comparing them to your current rates can give you an accurate idea of what your competitors are offering and help you find out how much of a raise you can provide without pricing yourself out of the market.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that a rent increase must comply with the rules and regulations of your city, so be sure to familiarize yourself with those as well. One of the most effective strategies for determining current market rates is to use online rental platforms.
Many websites, such as Zillow and Trulia, allow you to search for homes and apartments available in your area, giving you an accurate idea of the going rate for similar properties.
2. Be Transparent
Once you have determined what kind of raise is fair for your tenants and compliant with local laws, it’s time to start communicating the news. Make sure to be transparent and clear in your communication with tenants about the rent hike, providing them with sufficient notice so that they can prepare for it financially.
You must also provide them with a valid reason behind the increase; this could be anything from market prices to an additional service you’re offering or increased maintenance costs.
2. Explain to Tenants Why Rent is Being Raised
Your tenants should clearly understand how their rent increase came to be and how it will benefit them in the long run. Explain how the increment is in line with market prices and how it will help you keep up with the cost of doing business.
Besides, if any additional services or amenities come with the rent increase, make sure to emphasize those to your tenants so they can get total value for their money.
3. Offer Incentives for Long-Term Tenants
Offering incentives to long-term tenants is a great way to encourage them to stay while raising the rent. Depending on how long they have been living in your unit, you can offer a discount on their rent for each additional month they remain.
You can also propose not to increase rent next year if they agree to this increment. Make a point that this offer is a courtesy to all loyal tenants in this building.
This not only provides an advantage to them financially but also reinforces the idea that you value their loyalty. Other incentives include free utilities, supplies, or an upgrade to the unit.
4. Make Small Incremental Increases Over Time
Gradually raising your tenant’s rent in small increments can be an excellent way to increase the amount due without incurring a solid reaction. This method allows you to keep your tenants’ living costs manageable while still growing your profits.
By making gradual, consistent increases each year, you can ensure that your tenants are comfortable with how much they’re paying and won’t feel like their pocketbooks have been unfairly targeted.
Additionally, by keeping the increase amounts relatively low from one year to the next, you minimize any potential backlash from angry tenants who may be unhappy with a sudden cost spike. With careful planning and thoughtful consideration of how this strategy affects both parties involved, raising rents through small incremental hikes can benefit everyone involved.
5. Provide Notice of Increase in Advance
Providing notice of an upcoming rent increase is essential for both the landlord and the tenant. It allows the landlord to prepare for any potential objections or complaints while allowing the tenant time to adjust their budget accordingly. Often, landlords will provide anywhere from a 30-60 day notice before the new rate will take effect.
When sending out rent increase notices to your tenants, it is crucial to make sure that they are written clearly, concisely, and with the proper legal language. These notices should include how much the rent will be increased, how long before the increase will take effect, and how often the rent will be raised in the future.
Landlords should also include a contact number in case their tenants have any questions or concerns about the increase.
6. Stay Up-to-Date on Local Laws and Regulations Regarding Rent Increases
Landlords need to stay up-to-date on local laws and regulations regarding rent increases. It is important to understand how much you can increase the rent, how often it can be increased when notices must be given, and any other relevant information related to raising rents in your area.
Knowing this information will help ensure that the process of raising rents runs smoothly and that all parties know their rights under the law. Also, staying informed about rental laws will help protect you from potential legal issues.
7. Consider Offering Additional Services or Amenities with a Higher Rent Price Point
This is one of the most time-tested tips for raising the rent. Offering additional services or amenities with a higher rent price point is an excellent way to increase your tenant’s rent without making them feel like they are being taken advantage of. Such services could include high-speed internet, free utilities, garbage removal, laundry facilities, and more.
With these services in their rental price, your tenants will likely feel more comfortable with a rent increase. You can also use these amenities and services to differentiate yourself from other landlords and attract higher-quality renters.
Raising the rent on your tenants doesn’t have to be a nightmare. When you’re managing a rental property business, sometimes you have to raise your tenants’ rent to keep up with market prices or cover rising costs. Following these seven steps and tips can increase your tenants’ rent without upsetting them too much.
Communication is the key when raising the rent, so make sure you’re transparent with your tenants about why it’s necessary and what other benefits they’ll get from paying a higher price. And finally, remember to give notice in advance, so your tenants have time to prepare for the change.
Following these steps ensures that raising the rent will go smoothly for you and your tenants. For more helpful tips, check out our other similar articles for landlords and property managers.