Is your rent increasing?
Renters worry about having to pay more. Aside from rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartment units, there’s no limit to how much landlords can raise their rates. Granted, they must stay competitive, and legally, they can’t raise rent as a punishment. A punitive rent increase is grounds for a civil lawsuit. Landlords can only raise rent when a lease agreement expires. They must give tenants at least 30 days’ notice before a raise goes into effect. In some states, like California, 60 days are required if the increase is more than 10%. Check your state and local landlord-tenant laws to verify the legality of a rent increase notification. Also, review your lease agreement. Was proper notice given? Did the landlord stay within the rent rate limit? If troubled, ask for a meeting to discuss the rate increase and try to negotiate better terms. Prepaying for 6 months or a year may give you a better rate.
Sometimes a security deposit is increased. You can try to negotiate that, but if you’ve damaged property or violated the lease agreement, don’t expect any grace. If you can’t afford a rate increase by the due date, but you want to stay, negotiate with your landlord. Find a way to pay or prepare to move. Just consider the cost, the disruption, and the availability of other rentals or living situations. Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2) Now that puts rent in perspective!
If you’re facing higher rent and staggering credit card debt, contact Christian Credit Counselors. They’ll create a debt management plan that works for you. For more information call the Crown Helpline: 800-722-1976 or visit online at crown.org/ccc.