There are many reasons landlords need to raise the rent on their property. They may need to keep up with the market, especially if the neighborhood has improved. All of the rents in the improved area will be higher. Another reason for a rent increase is home improvement. If the building has been upgraded with a new kitchen, deck or other improvement, the landlord will be able to get a higher rent. Finally, if the landlord’s property taxes or insurance premiums are raised, he or she may need to raise the rent just to be able to keep the property.
The landlord must research the ordinances in the city where the property is to make sure he or she is allowed to raise the rent. These laws are governed by the jurisdiction in which the letter is written. The landlord must comply with the local statutes before they can legally increase rent. There will be a legal number of days before the higher rent goes into effect. It may be two weeks, 30 or 60 days. The letter must arrive in the tenant’s hand before this timeframe.
This guide is intended for landlords who are within their legal boundaries. Most landlords can raise the rent when the lease expires. They may also be able to raise it if the original lease has a clause that allows the rent to be raised.
The letter will be a record of the notification of the rent increase. It’s a simple way to avoid misunderstandings or delays about the amount of rent the tenant owes. It’s also an opportunity to restate the date the rent is due, the policies for late payment and how the rent is paid. The letter should contain:
• The purpose of the letter
• The exact amount of the raise and the new amount of rent
• The date the new rent will begin
• The reason the landlord needs to raise the rent
• The official name of the tenant should be used, not a nickname
It is recommended to give contact information, so the tenant can talk to the landlord either over the phone or in person. The tenant may want to ask detailed questions about the reason for the rent raise and may even get angry with the landlord. The landlord should explain the reasons as clearly as possible and let the tenant vent their frustrations. If the landlord wants to keep a tenant but has no choice but to raise the rent, he or she may want to consider raising it in increments to make it easier on a good tenant.
Below is a sample rent increase letter from a landlord. Since it will be an official record, it should be in formal business-letter style and either given by hand or sent by certified mail. If it is sent by certified mail, the landlord will have proof that the tenant was notified within the prescribed period of time. Since this letter is bad news to the tenant, the tone should be courteous and polite. If the tenant is a good tenant, and the landlord would like them to stay in the house, they should say so. There’s no harm in the landlord telling the tenant that he or she hopes they will stay. A raise in rent could result in the tenant leaving the property and the landlord needing to fill the vacancy.
Sample Rent Increase Letter
Name of Landlord
Address of Landlord
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Tenant
Address of Tenant
City, State, Zip Code
RE: Notice of rent increase
Dear Name of Tenant:
This letter is to formally inform you that starting on DATE, the monthly rent for the house you currently occupy at the above address will be raised $50 from AMOUNT to AMOUNT. The payment is due on the third of each month. Please note that I am informing you 60 days in advance. As before, you can pay with a personal check or with cash. If you pay in cash, I will give you a receipt. I am forced to raise the rent because the local property taxes in this area have been increased.
Your monthly rent is the only change in the original rental agreement. I have enclosed two copies of this letter. If you wish to remain in the house, please sign one copy and return it to me at my above address. If you wish to terminate your occupancy of the house, you must be moved out in 60 days from the date of this letter by DATE.
I hope you remain in the house. You have been an exemplary tenant and keep the house in good condition. I can be reached at Phone Number or by Email Address if you have any questions.
Signature of Landlord
Printed Name of Landlord
Signature of Tenant_______________________________ Date______________________
By Andre Bradley