Communicating Increases in Rent to Your Tenants

As a property owner, it is unavoidable that you may have to raise your tenant’s rent periodically. Whether it is a result of inflation or the need for additional revenue, communicating an increase in rent to tenants should not be taken lightly. It’s important to understand the legal force that applies to rent hikes and then craft a message that is professional and respectful. Doing so will help you maintain an excellent relationship with your tenants and preserve your rental property.

Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities

Before you can communicate a rent increase with your tenants, you need to understand the applicable laws for rent increases in your area. Laws can vary from state to state. Therefore, it’s important to know what’s required before voicing a request for an increased monthly rent amount from your tenants.

Determine if Your Tenant Has a Lease

The terminology used for an increase in rent can vary depending on whether a tenant has a lease or is on a month-to-month tenancy agreement. Renters with a tenant whose leases specify that the rent will not be raised for the duration of the lease agreement cannot be subject to an increase in rental price.

Determine Posted Deadlines for Rent Increases

The process for renting out a unit and raising the rent, including timing, must be spelled out per state and local law. Landlords are usually mandated to follow specific notification time frames to inform tenants of a rent increase. It is highly recommended to check the law in your area and comply with the notification timeline for rent increases.

Write Your Request For a Rent Increase

When communicating an increase in rent to your tenants, it is important to craft your message in a professional manner to ensure that the message is received well by your tenants. Be sure to inform your tenants how much the rent increase will be, when the rent increase will go into effect, and what the legal basis is for the rent increase.

Inform Tenants in Person

When informing your tenants of a rent increase, choose your method of communication wisely. It is always best to communicate the increase in the form of a personal conversation, as this allows your tenants to ask questions and helps them understand the situation better. You can also choose to ask your tenants for additional feedback in the spirit of creating a mutually beneficial compromise.

Offer Incentives

When contemplating an increase in rent, it is important to consider any incentives you can provide to your tenants. Incentives can include extra services or features like free parking, extra storage, or added features to the rental property. Offering incentives can help make the rent increase more palatable to your tenants.

Draft a Written Agreement and Document Increasing Rent

Once the tenant agrees to the rent increase, the new amount must be documented in writing. A written agreement should be drawn up that reflects the new rent amount and the date when the increased rent will start. This document must be kept in a safe place for future reference.

Know the Law

It is important for landlords to understand all the relevant rules and regulations that apply to rent increases. Knowing your rights and responsibilities regarding rent increases can help you avoid any potential legal issues. It is also important to consider the impact of rent increases on your tenants, as unhappy tenants may choose to move out.

Respect Your Tenants

When communicating a rent increase to tenants, treat them with respect. Respectful behavior may not only help maintain your relationship with the tenant in the long run but may also prevent them from considering other rental options.

Common Challenges

Following are some common challenges you may face when communicating rent increases:

  • Explaining why rent is being increased
  • Finding a method of delivery to ensure receipt of the rent increase
  • Explaining the legal aspects of your rent increase
  • Dealing with tenants who don’t agree to the rent increase
  • Creating a written agreement and documenting the rent increase


Communicating an increase in rent to tenants is often a challenging task. It is important to follow the applicable laws when informing tenants of rent increases and to express the request in a respectful and professional manner. Creating a written agreement that documents the rent increase can help protect you from any potential legal issues. As a property owner, your goal in communicating an increase should be to retain tenants, protect your investment, and ensure compliance with applicable laws.

What is the best way to notify tenants about a rent increase?

The best way to notify tenants about a rent increase is to send a written letter or email detailing the increase and the reasons for it. The letter should include the new rent amount, when it will take effect, and reasons for the increase (such as market conditions or increases in operating expenses, taxes, or insurance). Additionally, the letter should include a clear explanation of what will happen if the rent is not paid by the due date. It’s also a good idea to put a copy of the letter in a visible location at the rental property for tenants who may not have received the written notification.

What are the legal requirements for giving tenants notice of a rent increase?

1. The landlord must provide written notice of the proposed rent increase to the tenant. This notice must include the amount of the increase, the date it is to take effect, and how much rent the tenant will have to pay.

2. The notice must be given in accordance with the terms of the lease or rental agreement, or, if there is no lease or rental agreement, in accordance with any applicable state law.

3. Generally, the landlord must give the tenant 30 days’ notice of a rent increase. Specific timeframes may vary by state.

4. If the tenant refuses to pay the increased rent, the landlord must follow all applicable laws and notices in order to begin the eviction process. The landlord should consult a local attorney to ensure all legal requirements are followed.

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