How Landlords Can Raise The Rent Without Feeling Guilty

Overlooking a crowded beach in Brazil

Are you looking to raise the rent to earn more money? Over time, if you don't raise the rent with inflation, you will find your unit undercharging. This creates economic loss as a landlord. Therefore, as a landlord since 2005, let me show you how you can raise the rent in a fair and smart way.

Many of my actions are driven by guilt. I'm constantly asking myself how I could be so lucky when there are so many folks just struggling to get by. My trip to India ten years ago made me stop overeating given all the poverty I saw. If I can't help them, at least I won't disrespect them through gluttony.

Even small, innocuous things are constantly being driven by guilt. After being up 4-2 in the second set against my friend Jaabir, I decided to tank the match just so he wouldn't have to pay the $20 bet he initiated. I felt bad taking his money given he's already down $140 this year alone. Lest you think I'm the one egging him on to bet, I'm not. He's got an undesirable thirst to smack talk, while I have a consistent desire to defend my honor whenever challenged.

Raising The Rent Can Be Tough

I absolutely hate raising the rent on my tenants because I feel bad. Although San Francisco rents went up by an estimated 10% in 2015, I only raised my tenant's rent by 3%. My tenant is kickass awesome and to ask her for more money just felt dirty. The only time I do raise the rent is when there is turnover, which doesn't happen too often.

One of the main reasons why I wrote, Renters Should Pay More Taxes is so that I could get over my guilt of raising rent. I'd much rather have the tenant pay the government directly for an increase in property taxes rather than through me.

I wanted renters to get agitated by the notion of a “Renters Tax” where a renter sends in an annual check to their local assessors office twice a year based on the amount of rent they pay. This way, renters can directly experience the discomfort of paying for unnecessary spending and maybe, just maybe there will be less legislation that passes that sticks it to homeowners since we are the 30% minority.

It's easy to spend another person's money on yourself. With a Renters Tax, we all share in the burden of new government expenditures voted on by the people and will therefore think more carefully about the next legislation that proposes to raise taxes. The counter argument is that renters are already partially paying property taxes through the rent they pay. I realize this, but this is only true in a perfectly free market.

The Rental Market Is Not Efficient

If there were no restrictions to the amount of rent a landlord could charge, and if landlords were not human beings with guilty consciences, but robots who could automatically adjust rent prices based on algorithms that measures current supply and demand, then a Renters Tax is not necessary. 

Unfortunately, a good portion of landlords do feel guilty. My fellow landlords I've surveyed all say that guilt is their #1 reason for not raising the rent to market rates. The #2 reason is rent control. If you own a multiple unit building in San Francisco that was built before 1970, a landlord can only raise rent by an index earmarked to inflation e.g. 1-3% a year.

If you read the fiery comments from the Renters Should Pay More Taxes post, you'll see that renters bristle at the idea of paying more taxes just like homeowners. Hence, I think I've created a understanding between homeowners and renters where everybody who votes for more spending is willing to pay more taxes and therefore higher rents.

Raise The Rent To What The Market Can Bear

Based on the comments from the Renters Tax post and my experience as a landlord for the past 11 years, I'd like to present the following reasons as to why every landlord should always raise their rent as much as possible.

* Renters don't mind higher rents. I've always gone under the assumption that as a renter, it would be better to have lower rents than higher rents. Based on the amount of legislation that has passed to increase spending on things like multi-billion dollar bullet trains to LA from SF we don't need, I am wrong in my assumption.

Renters believe they are definitely paying their fair share of property taxes through the rent they pay. Given increased spending legislation that results in higher property taxes is strongly supported by renters, it is only logical to conclude that renters do not mind higher rents, otherwise they would stop voting for legislation that ultimately raises property taxes and therefore rents.

* Never sell yourself short. If the market is paying $100,000 for your talents as an engineer, you wouldn't accept $80,000 to do the same work as others who earn $20,000 more. If the market says renters are willing to pay 15% more this year than last year, you'd be silly to accept $3,000 a month when you can get $3,450 a month.

By not charging $450 a month more, you are robbing yourself of financial freedom down the road. Maybe $450 could be used take care of your own family, provide braces for your kids, or help someone in desperate financial need. If someone wants to pay you $3,450, then go for it.

* Property owners take risk. Every asset class carries inherent risk. Property is no different as we've seen in recent years. It takes a lot of discipline to save up for a 20% downpayment. I had to live in a studio apartment for two years with another fella in order to save 50% of my after tax income out of college. There's also no guarantee you'll ever see your money again once you deploy your funds into your first property.

The only risk a renter faces is no return on their rent and being a price taker to ever rising rents. Renters are free to move with a standard 30 day notice and have no stake in the game. Landlords don't invest in property for charity. Landlords invest in property to make a return. If there is risk, there needs to be reward.

* Sharing the burden feels wonderful. One of the reasons why renters don't mind paying higher rents is because renters believe just like homeowners that a better educated youth provides for a stronger society. Supporting our children is one of the most powerful reasons used to pass legislation that increase taxes.

There is great pride in everybody pitching in to pay more taxes. In addition to public education, property taxes are used to pay for local infrastructure, firefighters, and police officers. We should not rob our tenants of the right to help contribute to society in the form of higher rents.

* Utilize a property manager. If you pay someone to manage your property, make sure your property manager earns his keep by charging market rates. The property manager should shield owners from as much hassle and contact from the tenant as possible. Property managers usually charge 1-1.5 months worth of rent for their services a year. Get your money's worth.

* Make your tenants aware of the market. You don't want to wake up 15 years from now and realize you are charging 40% below market rent because you felt too guilty to raise prices over the years. It will be impossible to catch up if your unit is under rent control. When it's time for you to raise the rent, simply highlight as many comparables as possible you've found online justifying why the rent is going up. Make your tenants feel good by not charging up to the maximum, but perhaps 95%.

* Set expectations early. If you are getting a new tenant, highlight your rent increase plans. I make it a point to let all my tenants know that one of my condos is not under rent control and that I have historically raised rent once every two years, but not by more than 5%. Once your tenant's expectations are set, so long as you don't increase your rent sooner and higher than what you've said, they should be fine.

Rent control leads to shortages and higher prices.
Rent control leads to shortages (Q1 to Q3) and higher prices (green line to P1).

Create A Good Relationship With Your Tenants

Renters need good landlords who are attentive to their needs. I'm always very responsive when something breaks in one of my properties because I want my tenants to have the best experience possible. I even have a system where I give my tenants a handyman resource sheet and authorize them to charge up to $100 per job without the need for my approval. So far, I have loved every single one of my tenants and they have loved me back in return.

Landlords need renters to help pay their mortgage, provide retirement income, and build wealth over the long term. As an early retiree with no W2 income, rental income is now more important than ever for my survival. It's in my best interest to provide the best quality product so I can earn the highest return.

If I ever get rich enough, I might even convert the rental into a furnished pied de Terre where my family and I can stay for several months a year and not even bother with tenants. The idea of building a rental empire for my children to manage one day is good career insurance. See: Three White Tenants, One Asian Landlord

To all the landlords out there, take a look at the latest comparables online and see what they are going for. Raise your rents to match market rents and stop feeling guilty. Renters have given landlord's their blessings with their support of legislation that increases spending. If we can get the increased tax revenue efficiently funneled to those programs which need the most help, I'm all for rising property taxes and rent. Together we can build our cities stronger one tax payer and one rent payer at a time.

Related: The Case For Buying More Rental Properties Today

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60 thoughts on “How Landlords Can Raise The Rent Without Feeling Guilty”

  1. Quantum Flux

    Being able to profit from a human right like shelter should be banned.

    We should have left “landlords” behind in the middle ages.

    The entire system should be rearranged so there is *only* ownership and people like you can work for a living like everyone else.

    Yeah yeah it was your special genius and gumption, not luck and ridiculous privilege, that enabled you to be a land Baron on the most overvalued market in the US

    1. Could be a possibility. Do you suggest everybody who does not own rent only subsidized government housing? They actually have a pretty decent government housing system in places like Malaysia and Singapore. I wouldn’t mind that if EVERYBODY pays a government housing subsidy tax, and not just property owners who already pay huge property taxes already to support their cities infrastructure.

      I’m totally lucky to risk my capital and save my money to buy SF property in 2003. I admit it. That’s why I try and work hard every day to respond to comments, write posts, and try my hand at building a new fortune.

      Check out these posts that might make you want to close your computer and hustle like a maniac! :)

      Income Profiles Of Financially Free People

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      Spoiled Or Clueless? Try Working A Minimum Wage Job

  2. I take issue with your statement, “If the market is paying $100,000 for your talents as an engineer, you wouldn’t accept $80,000 to do the same work as others who earn $20,000 more.” This is a foolish to discuss only six-figure incomes. I wonder who those engineers turn to when they’re hungry, or need someone to walk the dog because they’re working long hours. And who is educating their children. Who makes certain they can get to work and home safely without being mugged or worse? Who makes sure their building is safe and up to code, won’t burn down, is free of vermin and there are no crackheads hanging out in the doorway? These are your government and service industry folks at work. They do not make six figures. I understand your argument, but my problem is with making an argument based on an income that so many people — who keep the city running and a nice place to call home — cannot fathom making.
    Guilt exists to keep us honest with ourselves and in line with standards of our community. Raising rents because some engineers moved in is not justification, it’s money-grubbing. Will you sell when the tech industry moves elsewhere? The industrial belt is gone, just ask Detroit and Pittsburgh and Gary (Indiana). Oil drilling in the midwest stopped in the 80s, and now fracking is slowing to a trickle putting thousands out of work. Boeing has all but moved out of Seattle. Change happens. Don’t take advantage of it. If you love your city, be a part of its future and consider that what goes up must come down. It will. I guarantee it.

  3. This post really struck a chord, though I still fee conflicted. I also have a condo in SF and have had the same good long-term tenant for 16 years. I’ve raised rent modestly at regular intervals over the years, similar to the 3% annual amount you cited. I expected the tenant would move at some point (he’s a single guy) and I’d bump up the rent substantially for new tenants, but that hasn’t happened. So now my rent is about 25% below market, even though I *did* raise it over the years. The SF market is kind of nuts that way. Guess it’s time for a bigger percentage increase. I do want to semi-retire soon!

  4. As a renter, I hate paying more. But it’s understandable that it rises at times. It’s fine as long as you do it gradually. Moving sucks, and is expensive. That’s the main reason we will put up with increases to a certain point. If the market is rising and you raise it 5%, we will understand. But if we come in with a reasonable rent, then once the lease is up, the price is jacked 10-15% or more year over year, we’re pissed, I do feel gouged, and in that case I will take every inch the law gives me as far as moving out: waiting til the last minute to notify, giving shortest notice possible, fighting for that deposit back, etc.. Again it sucks to move. But I guess that is one of the evils that comes with renting.

    Also, related to the property tax post. The landlord’s property taxes may go up over time, but your mortgage doesn’t. We don’t have property tax, but our rent sure rises steadily, or more.

  5. I rent rooms out of my house in portland – I go both up and down with market conditions

    I have been giving about 5 months notice to a rent increase – so they have plenty of time if they feel that is going to cost more than it is worth

    renters are very savy – and they KNOW to the dollar what your place is worth – so if they pay it – you priced it LOW enough

    if you priced it too high – they will quickly move out

    I also like to tell my plebs how much I paid in closing costs – document fees – originial write up fee – loan orig fee, etc

    I also tell them that they are mostly paying for interest, utilities, taxes, insurance and only a few dollars actually goes to paying off the property

    capitalism is ALWAYS in favor of the business owner – not the worker

    so they know if they want to keep their room with an AC unit and wireless internet and all bills paid deal – they have to keep paying AND FOLLOW THE HOUSE RULES!

    OR – they can get a job paying at least 40k – save up 40 to 50k – and then they can be landlord…

    but the avg person cannot save 10 cents a week – so they will either be renters forever or homeless – I kind of feel sorry for them, but not sorry enough to not raise the prices when appropriate

  6. When a landlord is so caught up with emotions and does not raise the rent accordingly. The landlord indirectly also screws over other landlords in the area.

  7. hello.
    i am a live in landlord – i rent my spare room to a friend of mine. because she moved in as my friend (we are still friends :)) and she was the first house mate a had – i didnt charge her as much as i could potentially. now im gfeeling a little ripped off.

    shes been living with me for almost a month, and now i want to increase her rent by $15 a week – she currently pays $150 a week, and ive priced around and could potentially be charging her $200 a week. so $165 is still really good.

    like i said previously ive never done this before – i dont have any reason to increase – apart from my benefits and to try to fit in a bit more with market value. we split electricity and water bills.

    do you think my reasons are justified?

      1. really – 3 months??
        i was going to give her a month – 1st july.
        she really has it good with me… i dont charge her as much as i should be… like i said, i could be charging her an extra $50 to meet the market. so i dont think shell be shitty and leave.

  8. San Francisco is definitely more renter friendly than landlord friendly. But it’s also pretty competitive finding apartments so landlords do get to chose from a good pool of applicants most of the time. I can see how guilt can come into play when it comes to raising rent on a good tenant but the fact of the matter is inflation is out there and you do have the right to cover rising costs. The cost of utilities is always going up too. I just got a notice from the city last week that they are raising the costs on garbage collection by ~$6 bucks a month. Even though that’s not a ton of money it sure adds up.

  9. As a renter this one is tough to swallow but you have some great points. Looking forward to the day I can own my property, but in New York City it just isn’t practical for me right now. Again, as a renter I really like your point of setting expectations. It’s an awful feeling to know your lease is coming to an end and being unsure how much rent could be hiking or if you’ll need to move.

    1. NYC is one of the more interesting rental cities in the world. Rents seem so high that it seems like folks should try and do everything possible to buy if they plan to stay there long term. The international demand curve is huge!

  10. I’ve been fortunate that as long as I lived in a unit, the rent didn’t go up. It was only when I moved that I experienced a rent increase (or was told if I didn’t sign another lease, my rent would go up). That being said, isn’t there a limit to how much you can raise the rent on a continuous renter? Maybe I’m thinking rent control, but I thought it was around 3-5% a year. However, a landlord can raise the rent by however he/she wants when there’s turnover to make their place competitive. But again, it can’t be more than the market can bear or your place will be vacant.

    1. Yes, there is a limit for how much you can raise the rent. It’s publicly stated online for rent controlled units in the building. Usually around 1-3%. But for non rent control, you can raise by 10% with a 30 day notice and up to 60% with a 60 day notice based on what I’ve found e.g. whatever the market can bear with proper notification.

  11. I can understand how you would feel this (if you had a good renter). At the same time, I can understand your motivation to continue to try to watch your bottom line if you so needed to do so.

  12. @ William Cowie
    It’s funny, I’ve heard of the following strategy related to your comment: In the lease, you stipulate say, a $150 / month increase after the lease is up and the tenant goes month-to-month. Then before the end of the lease agreement, if the tenant is good, you send out a letter saying that they’ve been good and you’re only going to raise it by $75. You get an automatic upgrade and the tenant gets good feelings that you’ve cut their rent increase.

  13. I hear where you are coming from and this is the toughest since you derive the least benefit and vote against ever increasing spending. Hopefully you are also paying less taxes too though?

  14. At my 4 plex, I ask my property manager to increase the rent at the market rate. They need to earn their pay somehow. At my rental home, I have a really good tenant at the moment and I don’t want to raise the rent too much. Maybe just $50 the next time the lease come up again. We signed a 2 years lease last time so they can keep the price stable for a while.

  15. Two things work well against the guilt:

    1. Tell tenants way ahead of time, like when they sign the lease, that rent will go up by 5% every year (or whatever). Then it’s no surprise — they agreed to it up front.

    2. Keep your rent a little below market. That alone tells (actions speaking louder than words) that you’re not out to gouge the tenant. Here’s the psychological thing: a tenant will not be more grateful for 25% below market than 10% below market. Below market is below market.

  16. Our current renters are great, so we don’t feel the need to raise rents. We would much rather have them stay than raise the rent so high that they had to move. Furthermore, we are right in line with what others are charging in our area.
    I’m not sure if I feel guilty about raising rents, but I’m not sure that we actually have ever raised them! In fact, the last time we had turnover, we lowered the rent because the market was way down. However, I think it is important to note that guilt is a great motivator :)

  17. When I did rent, my landlord increased my rent 1 time after I had signed the initial 1 year contract. They always went month to month after that, which was also written into the contract.
    A woman that lived in the same rental units had lived there for 15 years and only had 2 increases in her rent.
    Of course, this is back in the “good ol’ days” when the landlords didn’t normall run a background/credit check.
    The rent was about 30%-33% below other rents in the area, and occasionally I did a little work on the place (like adding pull-down attic stairs), with their approval only. They took that off my next month’s rent.

    I agree with JayCeezy about rental units versus stocks/bonds. I actually feel that I have more control over them, I can sell them any time I want to cut my losses (obviously none of these in the past 2 years) or gains.

    1. This happens a lot in San Francisco. Due to rent control, some places are so below market that folks never end up buying. But 10 years later, and 10 years older, these same folks are kicking themselves for never buying, and still live in the same rental wondering whether it was worth it living so frugally.

      Best may be to live in a way below market rent control building, buying multiple rental properties and charge market rent and have a nice vacation property as well!

  18. My current renters are so good that we send them gift cards annually. Never a late payment, always keep the home in tip-top condition, and handle the day-to-day issues (admittedly, there aren’t many) mostly on their own. I’ll take a hit for renters like that any day!

    Oh, and rent prices have gone down in my area, so that hurts too!

  19. Another good article, FS…

    I’ve never raised the rent on any tenant and I think it’s partially guilt but also partially expedience. If I raise it by $100 but it costs me the tenant, I get at least a one month vacancy and will need to put in more work to find another tenant. This is more costly in money and time than the $1200 I’ll get in extra rent.

    Another reason is that in one of my areas, rents have gone down a bit due to high levels of rentals being available. The rent my tenants are paying right now are better than what I’d get with a new tenant. I don’t expect that this will last that long, though, so maybe next year, I’ll send out some notices.

    On the upside, my upcoming acquisitions are all turn-keys, so the property management company has no problem following the market increases. I’m looking forward most to learning about how they manage properties and applying those lessons to my own management style.

    Here’s one cost-saving thing I recently learned. None of their houses come with fridges or stoves, the renter must supply their own. They noticed that a majority of their service calls were about fridge or stove problems so by eliminating this, they reduce their overall expenses dramatically. I’ve never been including washers/dryers for my rentals, but this one’s a new one for me.

    1. True, it’s a fine line of figuring out how much to raise before a landlord loses the tenant. It’s not that difficult to price thanks to the internet now. Just get 10 comps, and price 5% below and you will likely have a sticky tenant b/c the tenant will research the comps as well. Add on the pain to move and it’s a win-win.

  20. Tough business, rental real estate. Whether we know it or not, every month is a negotiation on several levels (renter/job, renter/lifestyle, renter/available alternatives, unit/neighborhood, rent price/market price, etc.). It is a ‘people’ business, and all that implies. Reminds me of an awesome quote: “Hell is other people.” – Voltaire”

    When it goes sideways, it is crazy. A pal of mine, who swore for 30 years by rental real estate as a way to build his fortune, leveraged like crazy and did a 1031 exchange to buy multi-family units in Pheonix in 2007, after the big runup. He lost it all, six properties short-saled back to the lenders and barely kept his own home. Ugh. Now he is almost 60, with no time left to make it back. Going to be a very low-key and different retirement from the one he envisioned.

    I cannot do it (rental real estate). Stocks, Bonds and CDs have their own drawbacks, but a guilt trip isn’t one of them.

    1. That is a tough situation, Phoenix 2007. Although, if one can do the math and put realistic conservative estimates on cash flow, it’s not that difficult over the long run.

      Yes, no guilt with stocks, but look at CEOs like Tim Cook blow up Apple by not doing anything over the past year? Ouch.

      1. The thing is, the guy is 60. Renters were/are in the driver’s seat, and a purchase that fit “the math” in 2007 did not in 2008 and beyond. Rents and occupancy and equity, all down. So he is losing money every month, on properties worth far less than he paid.

        The “long run” when you are 60 is a lot different concept, than when you are 37.

        Yes, stocks/bonds/CDs all have drawbacks. The way I can tell which one is in the tank at the moment, is when I cry myself to sleep at night the tears running down my face taste different.:-)

  21. Most landlords find it difficult to raise the rent because of the close relationship they sometimes built with their tenants. I think if you really want to be able to raise the rent, have a good relationship with them, but not a very close one.

  22. Yeah I hear you, always felt guilty as you said, but reading stories about long term tenants with super low rents I realised that I need to raise rent or 10- 20 years down the raid I’d be behind the 8 ball. Actually happened to a student I had. Her Dad felt guilty so never raised the rent and voila 25 years down the road she lived in a very desirable place in the city centre (Madrid Spain in this case) with dirt cheap rent (like under 200€ a month or something like that) Now that the daughter wants the unit she is fighting eviction. Sadly the course ended before I found out what happened.

    The other issue is replacing tenants, a huge pain, so what I do is raise the rent every three years and just slightly above what I’m allowed. And so far so good

    1. Yes, getting stuck with a tenant who pays way below market rent and needing to spend money on eviction is a disaster. Hence, if you can charge as close to market rent as possible, it doesn’t matter so much if they never move out as you are realizing the full value of your investment.

      1. If you are charging full market price – they can afford to move and not have to dig in their heels

  23. The First Million is the Hardest

    During my renting days I don’t think I ever had a landlord raise rents on me during my time in the property. I assume they waited for any turnover to raise rents.

    Friends I know who rent always put up a big stink when their landlord increases rent. Very few of them actually pick up and find another place to rent though. So while it’s an uneasy situation to raise someones rent, it usually just results in some short term unhappiness. As long as you’re not gouging your tenants with an increase I don’t think you should feel overly guilty about it.

    1. Gouging is a hard word to accept b/c this is a free country. If the price is too high, one can move. If the price is too high, one doesn’t have to rent and the landlord loses.

      I’m just trying to eradicate the inefficiencies in the market due to rent control and guilt and make everything as market driven as possible.

  24. It is actually a disservice not to raise rents. You still need to make a profit and have the money to keep your property maintained. If you don’t raise the rent, sooner or later you won’t have the money to maintain it. There is a fine line as to how much you should raise the rent though. $25-50 per month probably won’t make most tenants look around and then move. A cost of living (CPI) increase probably is understandable, but you should do rent surveys in your area to see how you measure against other rents. Your tenants will even if you won’t.

    1. I have to disagree with you. I am a landlord of a single family home and have only increased my the rental rate only twice during a 10 year period. Yes the rental property is at least 25% below market value if not more. I do it for one primary reason, the savings I pass on to my tenant is repaid by not bothering me for any regular maintenance. With the exception of replacing the roof a few years back, my tenants look after my property. They purchase and maintain their own appliances, paint/spackle, plumbing, heating/air and do all the annual upkeep. For me this is huge that my tenants only call to wish me a happy new year and x-mas. I treat my tenants like a business relationship that grows over time giving them ownership of my property so they are vested in its upkeep. I check my property once a year and for me that enough. Peace of mind for me is worth a 25% haircut. Its not always about the money!

      1. Agree totally. It’s a business in the end, and if your customer saves you money by how they take care of the property, good business practice dictates that you share some of the benefit they create with them. Those tenants pay with their help, not just with their check. If they didn’t do it, you’d have to pay out more and that would entitle you to raise your rent more.

  25. “Although San Francisco rents went up by an estimated 12-15% in 2012, I only raised my tenant’s rent by 3%.” Wow, that is a crazy high increase! Then again, I live in the Midwest and do not see such increases. Having that good relationship is vital otherwise other risks can come into play. When we rented, I had no problem if the rent was raised if we had a good landlord. If they were not good then we were generally looking elsewhere.

    1. Yes, rents are really soaring here. One particular rental’s rent is up 72% from 8 years ago as an example while the mortgage is down 45% due to refinancing. This really is the main reason why real estate is my favorite asset class.

  26. Sam,

    Sometimes it’s difficult for me to tell just how much of what you post is sarcastic… but I like this post. It seems you’re being mostly sincere with a few sarcastic comments thrown in for good measure (should we expect anything else by now? :)). As I said in the comments of your other post, I agree that you absolutely should raise rent if property taxes go up (as circumstances allow). While I doubt that many people feel great about sharing the burden as you say they should (my sarcasm sense is tingling!), they ought to.

  27. With my rental property, I have not feelings of guilt about raising the rent. To be honest, since my rental was not intentional, and is cash flow negative, any time I can raise the rents makes the hurt is just a little bit less. Of course, avoiding vacancy is much more important than an extra $100 per month, so if not raising rents is appropriate, then that is what I go with.

      1. Seconded – being negative every month is the wrong place to be.

        I’d be re-evaluating whether the property is worth keeping.

  28. When I was in an apartment, I remember anytime rent went up I’d create a big stink. It’s always felt like companies always wanted more money from me, and for rent to go up, it just felt like I was being bombarded from all sides. From the landlord’s perspective though, you absolutely can’t be run by emotions. If taxes and whatever are going up, then rent must go up. And that’s what you should tell people. And if they don’t like it, then get out. It sucks and it’s not very nice, but that’s the deal when you’re landlord, right? Another thing that can help, I know these days there’s this online thing you can do that gives you the average rent in an area and the rents of all the nearby places that are like your place. If you’re rent really is lower than it should be and you want to increase it, you can always show your tenants the printout (or give them the web address to see for themselves), so that they can know that they’re still getting a good deal even if the rent hikes.

  29. Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide

    If taxes go up, the rent should go up, too. It’s pretty much that simple. If renters don’t like it, they should take it up with the city, but retals can’t be operated at a loss!

  30. I have a great relationship with my tenants and hate raising their rent because the relationship is too casual so it feels like asking friends for money. Thankfully I have a nice turnover so I raise rent between contracts.

  31. Hey Sam,

    How is the market there in Santos? A 2-br condo/apartment ranges from how much? I love it there.

    Thank you

  32. I do agree with the rent guilt. I’ve never raised rent while my tenants were occucpying my rental. I wait until I’m between tenants to raise my rent.

    I’m getting ready to rent out a second house and I market my houses on a free military website to other military folks. I also have the advantage of knowing the amount of BAH (military housing allowance) that people make that I will be marketing the place to. I use this number and in my current situation, dropped my rent by 100$ to get the place rented out. I try to not be too greedy out of the gates until I feel fairly confident I can keep the place rented.

    I agree with keeping your renters happy. If you’re responsive and take care of them, they’ll most likely do the same for you.

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