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Property Management Blog

I Want To Raise My Rental Rate But…

I Want To Raise My Rental Rate But…

In my experience landlords are very reluctant to raise rental rates. Shying away from this unpleasant task is totally understandable. Fear of breaking bad news, the time and effort associated with the task, (misplaced) responsibility towards the tenants and uncertainty in the rental market.

Perhaps the biggest fear landlords feel when debating a rental increase are the costs associated when a tenant decides to move as a result. If you are relying on that rent check every month I can certainly understand how scary the thought of a vacancy can be; make ready fees and new tenant expenses can mount up. However these expenses should not be a concern if you are running your rental home as a true business. At Gulf Coast Property Management we advise our owners to build up reserves equal to 3 month’s expenses. This way you can deal with any unexpected costs and negotiate renewal rates with confidence.

"But I am a great tenant! I look after the place and pay rent on time". This is often the response we hear when we inform tenants of a rent increase. Our reply to this viewpoint is "that is the reason we are allowing you to renew your lease. Not a reason why we shouldn’t raise the rent."

If your tenant ever asks that you justify your increase, simply explain that as the property owner your costs are increasing; taxes, insurance, as well as maintenance and professional fees are not trending downwards. Why should you be penalized in real terms as a result? You may ask your tenant if their other living costs such as utilities and groceries are immune to inflation.

You may feel that raising the rent does not pay dividends. However as our table demonstrates the cost of not raising rent each year can be significant. Even taking into account vacancy and additional maintenance expenses the results are clear.