Skip to Content

What to Know When Your Landlord Raises the Rent

An Official Notice of a Baltimore City Rental IncreaseA tenant never welcomes rent increases. And although many Baltimore City property managers attempt to raise rents infrequently and equitably, some will raise rents astronomically with little to no notice, leaving you with few viable alternatives. Competitive rental markets and a scarcity of affordable housing have compounded the problem, causing renters to sometimes feel trapped and helpless. 

Then what do tenants who are facing a rent rise have as options? Is your landlord required to abide by any rules? And what does the law state regarding rent increases? Gaining control over any rent increase requires first knowing the answers to these questions. 

Are there regulations on how much a landlord can increase the rent? 

Most states allow landlords to raise the rent at the conclusion of a lease by any amount as long as they give the required period of notice. The amount and frequency to which a landlord may raise the rent are nevertheless restricted by rent control laws in several cities and states. For instance, a landlord in California is only permitted to raise the rent by a maximum of 10% plus any local rent control adjustments. Additionally, they must offer sufficient notice before the rent increase is due. In several other areas, including New York City, Oregon, Washington D.C., and parts of New Jersey, there are some rent control regulations

What are the legal boundaries regarding raising the rent? 

There is no federal law that regulates rent increases at this time. Many renters may view this as terrible news, especially if they reside in an already costly housing market. However, discriminatory or retaliatory rent increases are forbidden under federal fair housing laws. As a result, they are not permitted to raise the rent for a tenant based on their race, religion, gender, disability, or national origin. They are also not permitted to raise the rent as a result of your late payments. 

What choices do renters who are facing an increase in rent have? You have rights as a renter even though the law might not forbid rent hikes. First and foremost, be sure there are no provisions about rent hikes in your lease or rental agreement. Occasionally, a lease will specify how much notice a landlord must provide for a rent increase and the maximum amount they can increase the rent by. Your landlord must comply with the conditions of the lease because it is a legally binding contract. Knowing your state landlord/tenant laws is also recommended; this topic is regularly covered here. 

Occasionally, your landlord may be required to provide an explanation for a rent increase. If the landlord cannot provide a legitimate reason for the increase, such as property renovations or market value changes, they may not be legally permitted to increase the rent. 

You might want to attempt negotiating with your landlord if your lease does not address rent increases. This could involve making a longer lease agreement in exchange for keeping the rent at the present level or recommending different payment plans if the rise is too significant. However, know that the landlord is under no obligation to reach an agreement with you. 

However, you could consider filing a complaint with your state or local housing agency if you believe your landlord’s rent increase violates the terms of your lease, state or local law, or other rules. They may be able to examine the matter, mediate a resolution, or provide legal aid. 

If the increase is legitimate, bargaining fails, and you cannot pay the higher rent, you may have to locate a new tenant or sublease the space (make sure to check your lease to ensure this is allowable). If your landlord is agreeable, finding a roommate or subletting your apartment may be a viable option for you to remain in your home. 

In addition to these choices, some tenants are offended or upset and desire to take action to oppose the rent increase. Though a reaction like that is understandable, it is not a good idea. For example, refusal to pay rent out of anger over rental increase is not advisable because it can lead to eviction procedures. Similarly to this, neglecting your obligation to keep the rental property tidy and in good condition will only end badly for you. Before making any decisions, make sure to carefully explore your rights and options because breaching any of the terms of your lease may have negative effects. 

Knowing your options and rights as a tenant in the event of a rent rise is crucial. Finding the appropriate course of action for your unique case may also benefit from seeking legal counsel. 


If you’re looking to rent a home that’s managed professionally and fairly, check out what Real Property Management Prime has to offer. You can call our office or view our listings online.                 

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details