Landlords: Tips On How to Increase Rent

house with increasing coins

Raising rent is not a decision to be taken lightly; it requires a strategic approach and meticulous planning. It’s essential to ensure that any increase is justified, fair, and in line with market trends. Recognizing the significance of this decision, we’ve taken the time to comprehensively outline the entire process. From understanding the initial factors that might necessitate a hike, to effectively communicating the change to tenants, our guide provides a step-by-step breakdown to navigate this sensitive task with confidence and clarity. 

How to explain rent increase to tenant

Explaining a rent increase to a tenant requires transparency, understanding, and clear communication. However, most importantly, any rent increase must be done in compliance with the terms of the lease and state law (more on this below). Begin by scheduling a face-to-face meeting or sending a formal notice to increase rent form well in advance of the change. During the discussion, provide a clear rationale for the increase, whether it’s due to rising property taxes, maintenance costs, upgrades to the property, or alignment with current market rates. Emphasize any improvements or benefits they’ll receive as a result of the increase, such as enhanced amenities or better maintenance services. Acknowledge their value as a tenant and express your desire to maintain a positive landlord-tenant relationship. Offering an open channel for questions or concerns can also help in ensuring the tenant feels heard and understood. 

Rental amenities renters are willing to pay more for

Tenants are well-aware of their preferences when it comes to rentals. They value premium amenities and upgrades that enhance their daily living experience and are often willing to pay a higher price for units that offer these luxuries. 

Smart upgrades

While smart upgrades might not be a decisive factor for many tenants, they are certainly willing to pay a premium for units equipped with technological features that simplify their lives. Indeed, smart technology has emerged as the most sought-after amenity in recent times. 

Consider the following: 

  • Smart Locks – Allowing for keyless entry, smart locks provide additional security as well as provide easier access to a rental unit for landlords, property managers, and tenants alike. 
  • A Plug for Electric Cars – Electric cars are the future and if you offer a designated garage or other parking space that is secure and only accessible by your tenants, adding a place to plug in an electric car can be a game changer. 
  • Smart Thermostats – An easy upgrade, smart thermostats allow tenants to program the temperature in the home while also saving them (and you!) money on utilities each month. 
  • App-Based Security Systems – In addition to a smart lock for added security, a security system that can be controlled via an app on a smart phone can make a tenant feel safer in your rental unit. 

Parking preferences

In the Greater Boston area, even though public transportation is accessible, a significant number of tenants own cars, regardless of daily usage. The reality is, securing a street parking spot consistently can be a challenge. By providing tenants with designated parking, you not only enhance their convenience but also position yourself to require higher rent, which many tenants are willing to pay for. 

Premium upgrades

Enhancing your rental unit with unique and thoughtful upgrades can make it stand out, prompting potential tenants to choose your property over others. Consider these distinctive additions: 

  • Countertops crafted from materials like corian, granite, or quartz. 
  • Spacious closets and additional storage spaces throughout the unit. 
  • USB charging outlets. 
  • Modern stainless steel appliances. 
  • An integrated dishwasher. 
  • Convenient in-unit laundry facilities. 

Reasons to increase rent

Increasing rent is a decision often influenced by a combination of economic, property-specific, and market-driven factors. One primary reason is inflation, which erodes the purchasing power of money, necessitating adjustments in rent to maintain the property’s profitability. Additionally, landlords face rising costs in property taxes, insurance premiums, and maintenance, all of which can prompt rent adjustments. Significant property upgrades, such as modern appliances or renovations, can also justify a rent increase, reflecting the enhanced living conditions offered. Furthermore, as local real estate markets evolve, rental rates might be adjusted to align with current market values, especially in high-demand areas with low vacancy rates. Lastly, increased operational costs, from utility hikes to administrative expenses, can also play a role in nudging rents upward. Transparent communication with tenants about these reasons is crucial to maintaining trust and understanding. 

How much notice to increase rent

The notice period a landlord must provide before increasing rent hinges on the nature of the tenancy. For tenants with a fixed lease, rent adjustments are bound by the lease’s stipulations. Typically, a self-renewing lease, which auto-renews annually, mandates that landlords provide an “XX days” notice prior to implementing a rent hike.  

For a tenancy at will generally 30 days’ notice before the start of a new month/period is required. Essentially the landlord is terminating the tenancy and offering a new lease at the increased rental amount. 

In conclusion, the decision to increase rent is multifaceted and requires careful consideration. For landlords, it’s not just about maximizing income, but also about ensuring the sustainability of their investment and maintaining a harmonious relationship with tenants. By understanding the various factors that justify a rent hike, from inflation to property upgrades, and by communicating these reasons transparently, landlords can navigate this delicate process with tact and fairness. Remember, a well-maintained property and a trusting landlord-tenant relationship are invaluable assets. By approaching rent increases with clarity and empathy, landlords can ensure the continued success and growth of their rental business.