Landlord and Tenant Relations: How to Write a Rent Increase Letter

It's important for landlords and tenants to communicate effectively in order to ensure that both parties are happy. Every landlord must increase the rent at some time, whether to cover the cost of major repairs to the property or to keep pace with market value. Of course, tenants will never be happy about a rent increase, but a carefully worded letter may make the transition a little simpler with clear communication and a hint of compassion.

When composing a rent increase letter, keep in mind that you are dealing with people. They have jobs, bills, joys and sorrows, just like everyone else. The news that the rent is increasing will likely not be welcome. Use courteous language and clear instructions when composing a rent increase letter to tenants.

If you've done your job in setting up the lease, the tenant should expect rent evaluations at certain points, whether it's at the end of every lease, annually or every two years. If you've done so, start the letter out by reminding them that the rent evaluation has been done as scheduled and some changes are on the way. Make sure that you explain why the rent increase is coming, whether it's from a market analysis, inflation, property tax increase or major repairs such as re-roofing. The tenant should not feel that the rent increase is coming from your greed or is an arbitrary action.

Make sure to compliment the tenant on how they've done a great job on paying the rent on time, reporting repair issues in a timely way and have taken great care of the property. Let them know that you value them as tenants.

Be specific in the letter about how much the rent will be. Avoid vague references to amounts to come at a later time. If you are raising the rent by $45, let them know that. Also, be clear on when the rental increase will take effect. Giving them several months of notice is courteous, then you can clearly state the month the increase will be due.

Finally, let the tenant know that increasing the rent was not an easy decision and that you hope they will continue to stay in the rental property. When you make them feel valued and an important part of the business of renting, they are more likely to feel accepting of the rent increase.

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