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Unread 02-23-2011, 11:26 AM
 
2 posts, read 16,554 times
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Default Is there a legal percentage landlords can increase rent?

My current monthly rate is about $780, but my landlord wants to increase by $80...an increase of about 10.25%. Does anyone know if that's legal in Georgia?
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Unread 02-23-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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Yes it's legal, unless otherwise noted in your lease agreement. If you don't have a agreement your landlord is suppose to give you notice (I believe 60 days, but not sure) of a rent increase.
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Unread 02-23-2011, 12:01 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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Yep, technically they could double your rent if they wanted to, though it wouldn't make good business sense.

Sometimes it's kind of an "apartment shuffle" here. You get into a place initially and they do some really good deals/free rent promotions. When you renew your first lease, poof - increase. Then another, then another. I lived in an apartment in Vinings years ago, and they went up $70 the first year, $90 the second, and $90 again the third. I didn't sign another lease, but instead my roommate at the time (who wasn't on the lease), wound up getting a unit in the same building for $300 less than I initially paid for mine at the get-go. Then I just moved into that unit with them.

It can get tired playing the "game" they play, but if you stay in the same apartment they'll do it to you. You can of course, go to the leasing office and (nicely) threaten to move out if they increase your rent that much. That MIGHT work - occasionally, they'll negotiate and just raise it a little bit. But these days more people are renting rather than selling, so there are fewer units available and leasers have less power. Give it a try, though.
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Unread 02-23-2011, 01:12 PM
 
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Yeah, my experience has been that they'll do that, but I've never had them try to increase quite as much (and that's after I told them no way was I going to pay $100 more). For $960 for the year, I'm sure I can do better.

Thanks for your feedback!
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Unread 02-23-2011, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
9,914 posts, read 12,904,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a.baker View Post
My current monthly rate is about $780, but my landlord wants to increase by $80...an increase of about 10.25%. Does anyone know if that's legal in Georgia?
This is a Republican state. Why would you expect to see consumer protections here? That isn't the Free Market way...

Sorry, but I'm grumpy today...

To answer your question: Sure, it's legal, at least if your lease doesn't make it otherwise.

Edit: Oops, I see I'm slow. Sorry.
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Unread 02-23-2011, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Dacula, GA
152 posts, read 263,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
This is a Republican state. Why would you expect to see consumer protections here? That isn't the Free Market way...

Sorry, but I'm grumpy today...

To answer your question: Sure, it's legal, at least if your lease doesn't make it otherwise.

Edit: Oops, I see I'm slow. Sorry.
Or you can move to NYC and pay $2500 a month for a shoebox. But hey, I'm sure they got consumer protections there that mean ole states like Georgia (states that are actually growing compared to NY, PA, MI, etc) don't have.
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Unread 02-23-2011, 01:48 PM
 
905 posts, read 974,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettk View Post
Or you can move to NYC and pay $2500 a month for a shoebox. But hey, I'm sure they got consumer protections there that mean ole states like Georgia (states that are actually growing compared to NY, PA, MI, etc) don't have.
I'm pretty sure my rent in Central NY was cheaper than it was here when I rented my first apt. Not really fair to compare a Manhattan rent to anywhere in Atlanta. If there wasn't still huge demand to live there, no landlord could charge 2/3k + brokerage fees, etc atop their onerous tax situation.

Best solution is to aggressively apt hunt. There are plenty of desperate landlords out there.
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Unread 02-23-2011, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,014 posts, read 2,087,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettk View Post
Or you can move to NYC and pay $2500 a month for a shoebox. But hey, I'm sure they got consumer protections there that mean ole states like Georgia (states that are actually growing compared to NY, PA, MI, etc) don't have.
Yea, that is completely caused by consumer protections and has absolutely nothing to do with the sheer demand to live in nyc

But moving to the OP...

I would look at the cost of neighboring apartments... has the cost gone up everywhere?

That might be an indication of whether you want to consider moving or if the market demand to live in apartments in that area actually went up.


I don't think this is the situation here... but I thought I'd share

some of the cheapest apartments along the US78 south gwinnett corridor weren't doing too well and sold to another company. (My 93 yr old great aunt lives there) After a year... I noticed something interesting they increased the rent a good bit one year. What was interesting was it left alot of empty units behind and temporarily cash-strapped the complex. However, the turnover was high. Many of the families that had been problems at the complex, but wouldn't leave....left. One family that had been very rude and caused problems for other tenants were asked to leave at the end of their lease at one time. They sought legal help from the NAACP and the apartment had backed down. They left... and that alone made all the difference in the world.

It was almost like the new company decided to take a short-term loss to get some people to leave thinking the complex would be best off in the long run.
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Unread 02-23-2011, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,650 posts, read 8,850,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
This is a Republican state. Why would you expect to see consumer protections here? That isn't the Free Market way...
I know it's not what you want to hear, but telling someone what they can charge for their product isn't a "consumer protection." It's price control.

Ultimately, if a landlord raises rent beyond what the market will bear, they will be left with non-rented apartments. If they can rent them at the higher rent, then what they were charging before was below market.
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Unread 02-24-2011, 01:00 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,014 posts, read 2,087,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
I know it's not what you want to hear, but telling someone what they can charge for their product isn't a "consumer protection." It's price control.

Ultimately, if a landlord raises rent beyond what the market will bear, they will be left with non-rented apartments. If they can rent them at the higher rent, then what they were charging before was below market.
I agree that the landlord needs to be able to charge market rates and we do not need rent control, however the consumer protection regulations are not about rent control outright. A few places have made them rent control, most famously NYC, but some places have some protection regulations that aren't about rent control.

... I haven't really seen this being a huge problem here, which why the laws aren't on the books and don't need to be....

What they are discussing is regulation limits at how fast rent can go up within a very small time frame. Keeping in mind residents have a cost to switching residences and depending on their lives might not be able to move very quickly on short notice of rent increases. Protections could vary from a maximum % rent increase per year to something more simple like a minimum 4 months notice must be given if the rent increases more than 10%. That doesn't necessarily have to be turned into rent control, which usually carries a connotation to regulation forcing rents below market value for extended periods of time.

Another fair regulation to consider... because of the economic realities of consumer switching costs caused from the expense of moving... in order to maintain a more competitive market a landlord shouldn't be able to charge existing residents higher rents than new residents. They could offer incentives/discounts to encourage a new tenant to move in, but the new renter would know and understand the long term price point they are moving into. That way... if their rent goes up year from year.... It is inflation and/or market forces... not the landlord realizing they can charge market cost + slightly less than consumer switching costs to long-term renters.

So while I agree we don't need price control, the issue of price control and consumer protection are not necessarily the same thing.
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