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A rent increase letter serves two purposes: informing the tenant of the increase and officially documenting it. When writing a rent increase letter, make it clear, professional, polite, and kind. Communicating with warmth and empathy will remind your tenants that you value their tenancy.

Use the tenant's name in your greeting whenever possible instead of "Dear tenant." You may want to consider calling the notice a "Change in Rent Notice" rather than a "Rent Increase Notice" to avoid putting residents on the defensive.

It would help if you clarified throughout the letter that they can contact you with questions, and thank them for renting from you. The most important thing when raising rent is ensuring you are within the law. Why? Because maximum rent increases are not spelled out in federal law, and a tiny mishap would result in a legal tussle with your tenant.

However, if the property is located in an area with a rent control law, such as in some California municipalities, the rent increase will be subject to some laws. A rent increase notice template can help the drafting process, but here are tips for writing a landlord-friendly letter.

What to Know Before Writing a Rent Increase Letter

It's essential to keep the letter concise, but consider explaining why you're increasing the rent. Transparency will help residents see where you're coming from, and adding these warm touches makes the letter seem less of a demand and more like a partnership.

Review your state laws

Ensuring you have the law on your side is the most critical part of raising rent. Your state's law or your lease agreement will most likely dictate when and how rent increases must be communicated.

A minimum of 30 days notice is required in many jurisdictions. However, for example, if a month-to-month resident lives in a unit exempt from rent control and the state's anti-price gouging law has yet to be triggered, you must give 90 days' notice to increase rent by more than 10%.

A 90-day notice gives tenants time to think about their plans. If you want to encourage them to renew their lease early, you can also incentivize them. Having the chance to save money on rent by confirming their plans will motivate them to renew early and be less likely to complain about the increase.

Besides, you'll have a better chance of getting a head start on advertising if the tenant informs you 90 days in advance if they won't be staying. The following are some things to check in your state/city's rent laws:

  • Rent-control rules
  • How often can you do it
  • The lease agreement
  • Maximum limit for rent increases – a "reasonable" rent increase of 2% to 3% is recommended for landlords.
  • Notice period

Reasons to Justify the Rent Increase

Invest some time in market research and learn the going rate for rent in your neighborhood before you start raising rent. Increasing the rent too high will undoubtedly result in complaints from tenants and could mean that a good tenant will go elsewhere to find a more affordable place to live.

Talk to property managers who manage similar properties, ask real estate agents, and look at rental advertisements to find out what the rent is in the area. You can also use some online tools to compare rental prices in your area.

Keeping up with expenses and maintaining positive cash flow are essential for landlords to be profitable. Rent increases might be the best solution. Consider your expenses in the following areas before increasing your rent:

  • The property taxes
  • Increasing utility costs
  • HOA Contributions
  • Costs of insurance
  • Maintaining of properties
  • Inflation-related costs

Calculate these costs to ensure you're increasing enough rent during tenant turnovers and lease renewals.

Like a rent receipt, a certified letter (USPS) constitutes legal notice when you send the letter. The landlord will receive a receipt once the notice is sent, detailing when the tenant received it.

When Can a Landlord Increase Rent?

The landlord can increase rent in America depending on several factors, including state and local laws, lease agreements, and tenancy types. Although some states limit rent increases, referred to as "rent control," rent increase laws by state vary from city to city or municipality to municipality.

But most states allow landlords to increase rent in the following circumstances:

  • End of a lease term or expiration of a fixed-term lease: For instance, a landlord in Colorado is only allowed to increase rent annually.
  • During a lease term, if outlined in the lease terms

How to Write a Rent Increase Letter to a Tenant

You should ensure your rent increase letter explains the details clearly so that nobody is surprised by the changes. Rent increase letters should include the following points:

  • Name of the tenant: The letter should include the tenant's name.
  • Address of the property affected by the rent increase: It is necessary to specify the address of the property affected by the rent increase.
  • The letter should be dated: Include the date when the letter was written.
  • When the new rent goes into effect: The date when the new rent goes into effect should be clearly stated.
  • When the increased rent is due: It is essential to note the due date for the increased rent.
  • Contract or rental agreement reference: The letter should mention the contract or rental agreement.
  • Vacate date: A date by which the tenant must vacate a property if they do not agree to the increase should be mentioned if the tenant declines the increase.
  • Name and contact information of landlord: The letter should include the landlord's name and contact information.
  • Renter's last date to respond: The renter should know by what date they can respond.

Attaching an addendum showing comparatives of similar properties is recommended to best convince the tenant of the increase. Particularly if the rent has not changed in a long time or the neighborhood is growing.

You're Ready to Write a Rent Increase Letter

Rent increase letters can sometimes cause awkwardness or tension between tenants and property managers, so it's best to keep them brief and to the point. Following the "less is more" principle is a general rule of thumb. Make use of a template that works for you and follow it again and again.

Start your Rent Increase Notice now

Helpful Resources:

State of California - Landlord-Tenant Issues

NYC.gov - New Protections for All Tenants

Texas State Law Library - Rent-Landlord/Tenant Law

A rent increase letter serves two purposes: informing the tenant of the increase and officially documenting it. When writing a rent increase letter, make it clear, professional, polite, and kind. Communicating with warmth and empathy will remind your tenants that you value their tenancy.

Use the tenant's name in your greeting whenever possible instead of "Dear tenant." You may want to consider calling the notice a "Change in Rent Notice" rather than a "Rent Increase Notice" to avoid putting residents on the defensive.

It would help if you clarified throughout the letter that they can contact you with questions, and thank them for renting from you. The most important thing when raising rent is ensuring you are within the law. Why? Because maximum rent increases are not spelled out in federal law, and a tiny mishap would result in a legal tussle with your tenant.

However, if the property is located in an area with a rent control law, such as in some California municipalities, the rent increase will be subject to some laws. A rent increase notice template can help the drafting process, but here are tips for writing a landlord-friendly letter.

What to Know Before Writing a Rent Increase Letter

It's essential to keep the letter concise, but consider explaining why you're increasing the rent. Transparency will help residents see where you're coming from, and adding these warm touches makes the letter seem less of a demand and more like a partnership.

Review your state laws

Ensuring you have the law on your side is the most critical part of raising rent. Your state's law or your lease agreement will most likely dictate when and how rent increases must be communicated.

A minimum of 30 days notice is required in many jurisdictions. However, for example, if a month-to-month resident lives in a unit exempt from rent control and the state's anti-price gouging law has yet to be triggered, you must give 90 days' notice to increase rent by more than 10%.

A 90-day notice gives tenants time to think about their plans. If you want to encourage them to renew their lease early, you can also incentivize them. Having the chance to save money on rent by confirming their plans will motivate them to renew early and be less likely to complain about the increase.

Besides, you'll have a better chance of getting a head start on advertising if the tenant informs you 90 days in advance if they won't be staying. The following are some things to check in your state/city's rent laws:

  • Rent-control rules
  • How often can you do it
  • The lease agreement
  • Maximum limit for rent increases – a "reasonable" rent increase of 2% to 3% is recommended for landlords.
  • Notice period

Reasons to Justify the Rent Increase

Invest some time in market research and learn the going rate for rent in your neighborhood before you start raising rent. Increasing the rent too high will undoubtedly result in complaints from tenants and could mean that a good tenant will go elsewhere to find a more affordable place to live.

Talk to property managers who manage similar properties, ask real estate agents, and look at rental advertisements to find out what the rent is in the area. You can also use some online tools to compare rental prices in your area.

Keeping up with expenses and maintaining positive cash flow are essential for landlords to be profitable. Rent increases might be the best solution. Consider your expenses in the following areas before increasing your rent:

  • The property taxes
  • Increasing utility costs
  • HOA Contributions
  • Costs of insurance
  • Maintaining of properties
  • Inflation-related costs

Calculate these costs to ensure you're increasing enough rent during tenant turnovers and lease renewals.

Like a rent receipt, a certified letter (USPS) constitutes legal notice when you send the letter. The landlord will receive a receipt once the notice is sent, detailing when the tenant received it.

When Can a Landlord Increase Rent?

The landlord can increase rent in America depending on several factors, including state and local laws, lease agreements, and tenancy types. Although some states limit rent increases, referred to as "rent control," rent increase laws by state vary from city to city or municipality to municipality.

But most states allow landlords to increase rent in the following circumstances:

  • End of a lease term or expiration of a fixed-term lease: For instance, a landlord in Colorado is only allowed to increase rent annually.
  • During a lease term, if outlined in the lease terms

How to Write a Rent Increase Letter to a Tenant

You should ensure your rent increase letter explains the details clearly so that nobody is surprised by the changes. Rent increase letters should include the following points:

  • Name of the tenant: The letter should include the tenant's name.
  • Address of the property affected by the rent increase: It is necessary to specify the address of the property affected by the rent increase.
  • The letter should be dated: Include the date when the letter was written.
  • When the new rent goes into effect: The date when the new rent goes into effect should be clearly stated.
  • When the increased rent is due: It is essential to note the due date for the increased rent.
  • Contract or rental agreement reference: The letter should mention the contract or rental agreement.
  • Vacate date: A date by which the tenant must vacate a property if they do not agree to the increase should be mentioned if the tenant declines the increase.
  • Name and contact information of landlord: The letter should include the landlord's name and contact information.
  • Renter's last date to respond: The renter should know by what date they can respond.

Attaching an addendum showing comparatives of similar properties is recommended to best convince the tenant of the increase. Particularly if the rent has not changed in a long time or the neighborhood is growing.

You're Ready to Write a Rent Increase Letter

Rent increase letters can sometimes cause awkwardness or tension between tenants and property managers, so it's best to keep them brief and to the point. Following the "less is more" principle is a general rule of thumb. Make use of a template that works for you and follow it again and again.

Start your Rent Increase Notice now

Helpful Resources:

State of California - Landlord-Tenant Issues

NYC.gov - New Protections for All Tenants

Texas State Law Library - Rent-Landlord/Tenant Law