What to do if yours has grown
Everything seems to be getting more expensive these days. Gasoline prices have skyrocketed, food prices have risen, and many workers have to dip into their savings or go into debt just to keep pace.
The problem is compounded by rising rents. The apartment listing reports that rent in most US cities is currently higher than it was before the pandemic began. In addition, the national median rent has climbed 16.4% since January.
If you’re struggling to keep up with rising rents, you are definitely in good company. Here are some steps you can take to deal with a rent increase.
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1. Push back
If you get a notice from your landlord that your rent is about to go up, don’t assume your only option is to pay more. Instead, contact your landlord and try to negotiate. If you’ve lived in your home for many years and are used to paying your rent on time, your landlord may be willing to forgo the increase, or at least reduce it.
If that doesn’t work, you might want to see if it makes financial sense to move to a cheaper home. This may not be possible if you have a lot of furniture and personal effects as it could mean spending a lot of money for a moving service. But if you are renting a minimally furnished apartment and you can hire movers on the cheap (or, better yet, enlist the help of friends who can help you move for free), then renting new accommodation may be a good solution.
Your landlord may not agree to keep your rent as is out of kindness. But if you give your landlord something in return, that’s another story.
Depending on the type of house you are renting, you may be able to get a waiver of a rent increase if you agree to take on some of the maintenance. For example, instead of having to pay an additional $ 75 per month in rent, you could offer to be responsible for snow removal during the winter months.
3. Increase your income
If your rent goes up and moving isn’t an option, maybe your best bet is to get a side scramble. This way, you can use your extra income to cover your rent increase.
These days there are plenty of side concerts to choose from. You may be able to drive for a rideshare company, babysit, take care of pets, or even get a home medical billing or data entry job. In fact, you might be able to earn enough money from your side business not only to keep up with the increase in your rent, but also to boost your savings and consolidate your finances in the face of other growing costs.
A rent increase can be a huge blow to your bank account and wreak havoc on your budget. So it doesn’t hurt to try to negotiate or barter to get yourself out of a rent increase. But if that doesn’t work, increasing your income with a side job could help you manage that bigger bill.