Your landlord certainly has the right to raise your rent. This does happen periodically. It can be frustrating for tenants, but landlords have to consider things like the role of inflation, the demand for the property and the fair market value of that property. As a result, they may periodically decide to increase the rent on residential properties.
But how much can they raise your rent? Could your landlord simply inform you that rent is being doubled because the value of the property has gone up so much? Or are there limits in place so that you won’t have to move when your rent suddenly becomes unaffordable?
Are you in a rent-regulated apartment?
The big question to ask here is if you have an apartment that is considered to be rent-controlled or rent-stabilized. If so, while rent increases are allowed, there are certain restrictions on the percentage of the rent that increase can make up. For example, someone signing a two-year lease agreement can only see a 5% maximum increase. Someone who is signing a one-year agreement can only see a 3.25% increase.
So, if your rent was $1000, it could conceivably increase to $1050 on a two-year lease agreement.
If you’re not in a rent-regulated apartment, however, then the landlord can increase the rent by any amount that they want. They simply need to give you advance notice if it’s going to be more than 5%. But they could double your rent if they wanted to.
Exploring your legal options
You may find yourself in a dispute regarding rent changes. If so, be sure that you know about all of your legal options.