You’ve just received a notice in the mail that your rent is being increased. While this may not be unexpected, it can still be frustrating. So what do you do?
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prepare for and handle a rent increase. Below, we’ll outline some steps you can take to make the process as smooth as possible.
Know Your Rights as a Tenant
If your landlord tries to increase your rent and you don’t agree with the increase, you have the right to dispute it. But first, you should be aware of your state’s rent control laws. This may vary from state to state. The Lagos State Tenancy Law 2011 is the current law in Lagos State. This law, among other things, seeks to limit the amount of rent that new or existing tenants on a property may pay in advance. It also specifies the penalties for breaking the law.
Section 37 of the law addresses arbitrary rent increases and states that if a tenant believes the rent increase is unfair, he or she may file a court action and request that the court review the rent. The court will then consider the property’s value as well as the rent of adjoining properties. If it believes the rent is fair, it will uphold it; if it believes the rent is unfair, it will be reviewed downward. This law does not apply to Apapa, Ikeja GRA, Ikoyi, or Victoria Island properties.
Evaluate the Reason for the Increase
Now that you’ve received the notice, take some time to evaluate the reason for the increase. It’s possible that your landlord is simply trying to keep up with rising costs, but it’s also possible that they’re taking advantage of the situation and hoping you won’t put up a fight.
Either way, it’s important to be prepared for what comes next. If you decide to negotiate, you’ll need to arm yourself with as much information as possible. If you decide to move out, you’ll need to start planning your exit strategy.
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Negotiate With Your Landlord
Maybe you don’t agree with the rent increase and you want to negotiate a different amount. If that’s the case, it’s best to have a plan in place before getting into negotiations. Do some research on the local market, so you know what other landlords are charging for rentals similar to yours. You can also look at how much similar units in your area have appreciated over time. By using this data, you can make an educated argument that justifies your case for lowering the rent increase.
Talking with your landlord directly will also be beneficial during negotiations. Having an open dialogue and showing that you understand their financial needs may help them see things from your perspective. When making an argument, make sure it’s documented and in writing so there’s no confusion later on. Also set a timeline for when payments are due and if there’s any interest or late fees associated with them.
Document Negotiate With Your Landlord
It’s important to document everything in order to protect your rights as a tenant. You should make sure to document all conversations you have with your landlord, including dates and times. It can be useful to keep notes of what was discussed, or you can even record the conversation (just be sure to check your local laws before doing so).
It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the space and any damages or issues with the property. These pictures will come in handy if you’re ever taken to court by your landlord due to disagreements. Lastly, make sure you keep a copy of all rental agreements and receipts. This way, you’ll have a record of what was agreed upon between both parties.
Consider Filing a Complaint With Your State’s Real Estate Commission
If your landlord is unresponsive or unreasonable, your next step could be to file a complaint with your state’s real estate commission. Depending on your state’s laws, filing a complaint can help ensure that you and your landlord resolve the rent increase in an equitable manner.
When you file a complaint, be sure to include as many details as possible. This is important because it will help the commission make an informed decision on whether or not the rent increase is fair and reasonable. Be sure to provide the date of the initial rental agreement and when the rent increase was issued, along with any other relevant documents.
It’s also important to note that filing a complaint does not guarantee that you will receive relief from the rent increase – it merely means that your concerns will be heard and addressed by a third party. Filing a complaint may also protect you from any potential legal action taken by the landlord if they are unsatisfied with your response.
If you’re a renter who’s facing a rent increase from your landlord, here are a few things you can do to try to negotiate a lower rate. First, do your research to see if the proposed rent increase is in line with other apartments in your area. If it’s not, you may be able to use this information to negotiate a lower rate with your landlord.
Another option is to try to get your landlord to agree to a longer lease term in exchange for a lower rent increase. If you’re a good tenant who has always paid on time and taken care of the apartment, your landlord may be more willing to work with you. Ultimately, it’s up to your landlord whether or not to agree to a lower rent increase, but it’s always worth trying to negotiate.