Rent Increase FAQ

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Q. How often and how much can a landlord raise a tenant’s rent?

A. For cities without rent control, landlords are entitled to increase their rent as much and as often as they want, as long as they give their tenants advance notice for the change of terms in tenancy.

However, the first thing you need to do is to check your state’s landlord tenant law, especially for month-to-month tenancies. If the law states you need to give your landlord at least 30 days written notice to terminate the agreement for a new one with increased rent, and you gave your tenant less than 30 days notice prior to the implementation of the increase, the notice will only take effect until next month.


Q. Can I raise the rent more than twice a year?

A. If you have leased your rental property to your tenant for more than 30 days (for a 1 year lease), then you can’t increase the price of the lease, unless the lease agreement allows rent increases. If you have your property rented out for specific and limited period of time (per month rent), then you can increase your rent. However, you should give your tenant written notice in advance.


Q. How much raise in rental property is legal?

A. Generally, there are no set limits as to how much you can increase the rent, as long as you comply all the Civil Code requirements and lease limitations. When entering into a new lease, you can increase the price as much as you like, or however much the market is willing to pay for rent.

Rental properties under rental control cities fall under different set of rental control rules. There are allowable percentage for rent increase set by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board. Rental property owners and landlords can also increase the other factors of the rental property unit, such as gas and electricity per year when he or she pays for these services for the tenant.

Q. How much advance notice do I need to give to my tenant if I plan to increase the rent?

A. If the increase is 10% or less of the present rent, you need to give your tenant(s) at least 30 days’ advance written notice anytime within the 12 months before the rent increase can take effect. If the increase is more than 10%, then you need to send a written notice 60 days in advance.


Q. What are the ways to justify rent increase to my tenant?

A. There is a standard for “reasonableness” that landlords need to apply in every rent increase. Of course, exceptions to the allowable rent increase may apply if the tenant doesn’t object to such increase or if the landlord can justify the reason behind the increase based on economics factors and increased expenses in running the rental property, such as maintenance, capital improvements, repairs and rehabilitations and new mortgages.