When the time comes to notify tenants about a rent increase, most landlords hesitate and worry over how to let their tenants know. It’s completely natural, and we get it; you wouldn’t want to offend them and have to deal with a negative online review. But you can’t keep procrastinating, can you?
If tenants are already considering not renewing their lease, then you have another dilemma on your hands. On the one hand, you want a rent that better complements the current market price, and your bottom line may be at stake. However, you can’t just let go of your most dependable and trustworthy tenants either.
Don’t worry though, scroll on through to find some helpful tips:
Be Wary of the Rules and Regulations
Every state has unique rules and regulations for increasing rent, and you will have a lot more trouble to increase your rent if you offer rent-controlled housing. With that said, let’s quickly discuss a few key consideration on raising your rent with respect to city/state laws:
- The property should be in compliance with the state’s housing regulations
- Each tenant should be provided with at least 30-day’s notice
- Accrued rents cannot be increased
- Rent increases shouldn’t be implemented to usher out poor tenants
- Rents can only be increased once every year
Put yourself in their shoes. You already know that rent increases make you the enemy because tenants will hardly ever take into account the maintenance costs, taxes, and mortgage payments. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should start attaching a snippet from your cost-analysis with each rent increase letter. Instead, you can try to mention all the improvements and repairs that were made during each lease period.
If you had to have some trees removed, had the building painted, replaced a roof, or bought new appliances, try to bring it up in a friendly manner. Additionally, you shouldn’t be afraid to educate your tenants about how the real estate taxes or water or waste management fees have increased over time. Try to mention how you’re trying your best to pass these costs along in the easiest way possible.
If you’re writing an email and think your tenants will appreciate transparency, you can also include a section that lists links with all the relevant information about cost increases.
The only way you make a rent increase letter a little less of an inconvenience for tenants is by making it personal. You need to communicate how you never want to lose your best tenants and how hard it can get to find new tenants.
Also, try to think of the letter as a professional agreement as opposed to a demand. Don’t start the letter with the ‘Dear Tenant’ cliche and instead, greet them by using their names. Similarly, don’t add a threatening subject line in your email like ‘Rent Increase’. They’d be much better off by reading something along the lines of ‘Upcoming Rent Notice Update’.
You may also conclude your rent increase letter by reassuring your tenants that your communication lines are always available if they have any concerns or questions. Finally, sign off with a personal closing phrase such as “Thank you for your time”, “Warm regards”, or anything that you think makes your letter personal.
You can never take a one-size-fits-all approach to writing rent increase letters. You see, these letters can be especially scary during these uncertain times. Try to be honest and open with your tenants.
If you’re having trouble juggling other more important affairs with every day rental property hassles, we recommend hiring a property manager to help streamline your daily schedule. Heck, they’ll even help you write the perfect rent increase letter!