Few people welcome a rent increase -- the few are those who will profit from one. But it's a fact of life. As inflation rises, so does the cost of everyday items and rent is not excluded. In 2010, the average rental unit saw its rent increase by 2.5 per cent, to a national average of $1,029.
MPF Research projected that rent in 2011 would increase by 5.1 per cent. This growth would be driven by properties that were built over the last 20 years. The increase would make up for a down period during the financial crisis that saw rent drop by four percent over a six-month period that ended in February 2010, according to RentJungle.com.
From 2009 to 2010, a little more than a dozen out of 50 cities surveyed by Software Advice saw an increase in rent. Memphis, Tennessee, saw the highest rent increase, a jump of 4.04 percent. It was followed by Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (2.6 percent) Jacksonville, Florida (2.58 percent), Raleigh, North Carolina (2.33 percent) and Nashville, Tennessee (2.2 percent) as the top five.
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Influences on Rent
Unless specified in a lease agreement that rent cannot increase, rent can go up for a number of reasons. If the municipality in which you live raised property taxes or increased fees on water, which is usually included with rent, then the landlord can raise rent to recoup those costs. If heating is included and the cost for it increases, the landlord can again increase rates. Rent may also increase due to an increase in maintenance costs or due to demand in the rental property market. If more people are looking for rental units, demand is high and prices typically increase.
Some cities have rent control, which means there are laws that limit how much rent can increase in a given year. In some cases, rent control laws will spell out a landlord's responsibility for repairs, lease renewals and evictions. In some cities, rent control laws forbid raising rent on senior citizens. States with rent control laws include New York, California and New Jersey, along with Washington, D.C.