How Often Should Property Management Raise Rent?

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Raising Rent

How often should rental property management companies raise rent on their rental properties? Theoretically, no more than once per lease. However, the reality of rental management is far more complicated than a simple numerical answer. Landlords are free to set rates for rental properties, and tenants are free to pay or reject them. Landlords who rent below market rates will quickly find tenants and thus have few vacancies, but do so at the expense of taking in less revenue. Landlords that set high rates end up with unprofitable vacancies and soon have to reset their rates closer to market value.

Rental vacancies are low, which tends to favor an increase in rent values. Before raising rent, it is important to keep in mind a few factors. Let’s look at how property rental companies can stay profitable in a highly competitive market without losing tenants. The business of regulating and raising rents doesn’t have to be stressful and can be a balanced negotiation between tenants and rental property management companies.

 

Evaluate the Market

Evaluate lease agreements every six months.  You don’t have to change rents this often, but it’s important to keep abreast of rental market developments. By checking out competitive listings in your area regularly, you ensure your property is priced according to current market conditions.

When vacancy rates are tight, like today, landlords often increase rent. If vacancy rates are low, finding tenants is harder, and management companies may find themselves discounting their rents to entice renters. Keeping your finger on the market as well as current inflation rates allows you to be prepared. Charging your tenants a little more on an annual basis may be a more comfortable increase for both of you, rather than springing a huge adjustment on them in a few years in an effort to catch up with inflation.

It may also be useful to evaluate your tenants. Do you value any of your tenants for their reliability? Are you willing to risk losing them? Sometimes, having reliable tenants who care for the property and make rent regularly are worth keeping.

 

Raising the Rent

If you’ve decided to raise rents, you’ll need to give tenants appropriate legal notice. This is different between states, but typically sits between 30 and 60 days. If your tenant is on a fixed-term lease, rent increases will be stipulated by the existing rental agreement. Few tenants will be happy about a rental increase, so it’s important to communicate openly with renters.

If possible, plan ahead for your next increase by building it into your lease. This will give tenants significant notice and allow them to prepare for increases well in advance. Raising rents can be stressful for both sides, but operating within a structured process will bring success.

 

Right of Tenants and Landlords

For some communities—mostly in large cities like New York and San Francisco— there are rent control laws in place, restricting landlords from setting rents at or above market price. Different communities have different laws, and it’s important for both tenants and landlords to know their rights and terms of rental agreements in order to ensure lease changes are legal. Also, be aware that each state has different laws regarding the notice tenants must be given of increases, which is often dependent on how much the increase is. Here is a convenient resource for rent control laws in cities and states nationwide.

Raising the rent for rental properties does not have a “one size fits all” approach. We have covered some of the most important considerations to factor in if you’re thinking of increasing rent. For expert advice regarding rental property management for both tenants and landlords, contact Peridot Management today.

 

Eviction 101: Tenant & Property Management Rights

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Eviction

Evictions are stressful for everyone involved. Property management companies in New York can often avoid the eviction process altogether with a strong screening process. Unfortunately, not every eviction is avoidable. Landlords sometimes face an obligation to maintain the value of their property or the safety of other tenants. It’s important to know what your rights are as a landlord in an eviction process.  For tenants, it’s equally important to know your rights if you have been served an eviction notice by property management. Let’s take a closer look at the legal requirements of the eviction process.

 

Legal Reasons for Eviction

Typically, a lease is signed between both parties when the tenant moves in, which should state the payment terms and effective lease dates. Most likely, it contains a list of prohibited actions, which could leave to eviction. If these rules are broken, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant. These prohibited acts could include but are not limited to:

  • Failure to pay rent on time
  • Criminal activities or use of illegal drugs
  • Subletting without written permission
  • Damage to the unit or other tenants’ units
  • Having a pet (when prohibited)
  • Smoking in the unit (when prohibited)
  • Exceeding the number of agreed upon tenants

 

Illegal Reasons for Eviction

A landlord cannot evict a tenant because they “feel like it.” A lease is a legally binding document, which means tenants can only be evicted by failing to uphold the lease terms. Discrimination is forbidden in the housing industry—The Fair Housing Act forbids any housing decisions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or presence of children. If tenants suspect they’re being evicted for these reasons, they should report the landlord/property management company to the housing department.

 

The Eviction Process

  1. Property management must give tenants proper notice, between 30 and 60 days, before the eviction date. This protocol must be observed for eviction to be legal. Some states do allow for a shorter 3-day eviction  if the tenant has committed a serious act, such as assault, domestic violence or chronic failure to pay rent. It’s important to learn legal protocols for serving a notice within your state.
  2. The reason for an eviction does not always have to be stated on the notice, although some exceptions exist. The notice must identify the tenant, which unit they are renting and the person responsible for the unit (typically the landlord). If the eviction concerns the non-payment of rent, notices must include a valid address where property management can receive payment.
  3. Tenants must be served an eviction notice in person, via mail or on the door of their unit. Federal law entitles the due process of law if fundamental rights are compromised, which includes public and private housing. Telling a tenant verbally, giving the message to a relative or friend or just assuming they know it’s time to leave will not be covered by the law.

Although the eviction process is stressful, all aspects must be properly observed to remain legal. Once an eviction has been finalized, it’s important both parties follow regular move-out protocols. Property management should still process a tenant’s security deposit claim and perform a final inspection of the property.

 

Property Management Companies in New York

Evictions can be a minefield for property management companies. That being said, tenants should know their rights when dealing with evictions. If you have any questions regarding an eviction, contact a lawyer or a property management company in New York. If you’ve wondered– “Is there a property management company near me?” — look no further than Peridot Management, located in New York City. We are here to answer your questions regarding evictions, both for tenants and property management companies.