Talk about bad news for renters across the country.
the main points
- October rents for single-family homes increased 10.9% in October year-on-year.
- This is three times the annual growth compared to last October.
These days, life seems to be getting more and more expensive. Inflation has made it more expensive for groceries, gas, and everyday goods. And many Americans — especially those who live on their paycheck with no money in savings — struggle to keep up.
Compounding the problem is the high rental prices. In October, rents for single-family homes rose 10.9% from the previous year, according to a new report from CoreLogic. In fact, this pace represents three times the annual growth recorded for single-family rents in October 2020.
Single-family rental vacancy rates are also low for 25 years. Now you might think that won’t be the case, with prices going up. But let us remember that when rent increases occur nationally, they leave tenants with nowhere to go. Tenants struggling to keep up with rising costs simply cannot pack their bags and move to cheaper homes.
If you’re having a hard time keeping up with rental costs, here are some steps worth taking.
1. Bartering with the owner
If your rent has been raised recently, you can try to appeal to your landlord and ask for a break. But this tactic may not work.
Let’s remember that many landlords took a financial hit during the pandemic when eviction bans were imposed. Even if you pay rent on time each month, your landlord may have other property that the tenants haven’t paid.
But while a landlord may not be quick to lower the rent, one technique that can work is barter. If you offer to do some maintenance or administrative work in exchange for a reduced rent, the landlord may agree to this arrangement, making it easier for you to afford your home.
2. Get a roommate
There are a lot of benefits to living alone. But if money is tight and your rent is rising, you may want to consider sharing your living space, at least on a temporary basis.
Of course, this idea may not work if you are renting a studio or a one-bedroom house. But if you have a spare bedroom, this setup may be possible.
However, keep in mind that you may need to get the owner’s permission before allowing someone to move in. And you must definitely Ask the landlord if you plan to make changes to your living space that make it more conducive to sharing, such as building a temporary wall to turn a one-bedroom apartment into a two-bedroom.
3. Try to increase your income with a second job
Your current salary may already have reached the ceiling for living expenses and overhead bills. But if you are able to increase your earnings, it may be easier for you to keep up with rent increases.
These days, there are plenty of options for getting a side hustle. You can enter data from home, pick up evening shifts at a local restaurant that needs extra help, or sign up for dog walks or babysitting. This extra income may not only help you cover your increased rent but also help you build some savings so that you have a cushion against other bills that may increase.
Rising rents put pressure on a lot of people. With home prices so high at the moment, buying rather than renting may not be an option. If you experience a rent increase or you have a rent increase, use these tips to make this situation easier. The good news is that rental rates may drop next year or as more housing units become available. But until that happens, it’s important to have a game plan.
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