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When to Consider a Rent Increase

Did you know that the country’s rent index increased at an annualized rate of 3.6% in 2017? At the time, that was a significant increase compared to previous years. However, since then, we’ve seen even larger increases. From 2021 to 2022, we saw average rents increase by 14.07%, one of the largest increases since 2017. If you own a rental property, this valuable statistical information may cause you to consider a rent increase come lease renewal time—and rightfully so.

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Why Should You Consider a Rent Increase?

In all honesty, you are in the rental property business to garner as much positive cash flow as possible. Landlords and Northern Virginia property management companies know how important it is to set competitive rates and keep up with rental market trends.

And if the market is going up, why not include yourself in the mix?

Raising your rent prices can ensure your properties stay competitive and you’re not missing out on potential profits. However, maintaining your rental property’s annual profits (or, better yet, increasing them) without experiencing any significant tenant loss is a delicate thing to balance. 

That’s why today we will share with you some things to consider before raising your rental property’s rent.

When to Consider a Rent Increase for Your Rentals

Raising the rent on your rental property involves a lot more than just a notice to your tenant that the price will increase come renewal time. In fact, many say it takes good business skills, in-depth marketing research, solid landlord/tenant relationships, and even legal knowledge to raise the rent on an investment property successfully.

Here are some of the biggest considerations to weigh before you consider a rent increase:

  1. Assess the Current Rental Market
  2. Evaluate Current Tenants and Understand the Law
  3. Factor in the Surrounding Area
  4. Take a Look at Your Overall Goals

Assess the Current Rental Market

Even if the national average rent has increased significantly, that does not necessarily mean that a rent increase is a good idea for all regions with rental properties.

Before jumping on the bandwagon and raising the rent on all of your tenants, you should research the current rental market in your area. Here are some things you should address in your research:

By answering such questions, you will get a true idea of the current rental market rate for rentals similar to yours. If your rental stacks up, there will be room for a rent increase.

Evaluate Current Tenants and Understand the Law

If your rental property is currently occupied, you should thoroughly evaluate the tenant that resides there before justifying a rent increase. In addition, you must look carefully into your state laws regarding how much time is required to notify a tenant before a rent increase occurs to avoid legal trouble.


Increasing your rental rates will net you more profit than anything else with your rental.  However, sometimes the assurance of having a quality tenant that pays on time, causes zero trouble, and cares for your property as though it was their own is enough of a reason not to raise the rent every chance you get. Consider things such as:

  • The last time you raised the rent on each property and which tenants felt the increase
  • How valuable your tenant is to your rental property business
  • Whether you would be willing to lose such a tenant in the case they refuse to renew due to a rent increase
  • Whether you would be willing to negotiate if your tenant contacts you about the increase
  • What the legitimate reasons are for raising the rent that you can explain to existing tenants

The Laws

If the lease agreement expiration for your rental is approaching, and you are serious about raising the rent upon lease renewal, make sure to follow these important steps:

  • Ensure the rent increase complies with local laws and that you provide your current tenant with proper notice.
  • Make the notice official and in writing so that both you and your tenant understand that a rent increase will be in effect during lease renewal. Include information such as the current rent amount, the new lease amount, the actual increase amount, and a place for both you and the tenant to sign in agreement.
  • Maintain a copy of the official notice for your records.
  • Send the notice to your tenant via certified mail or hand deliver it to ensure proper delivery.
  • Consider a courtesy reminder via email, letter, or phone to remind your tenant the lease renewal deadline is approaching.

Factor in the Surrounding Area

Is your rental property in a location that is experiencing a lot of growth? Are there new shopping markets, entertainment venues, schools, and parks popping up? Are employment opportunities booming?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, this is a good sign that you can successfully raise your rental rates. Though you may lose your current tenant in the process, with such growth in the surrounding area, someone else will want in on your property.

And, if you utilize Maryland’s best property management company, Bay Property Management Group, to help you advertise your new vacancy at its higher rate, you can trust your property will have great exposure. Additionally, you’ll know that all potential tenants will be thoroughly screened, and only the highest quality tenants will be placed in your valuable property.

Take a Look at Your Overall Goals

Raising rent on a rental property is every property owner’s dream. After all, higher rents mean more money and more positive cash flow. However, sometimes increasing your rent rates brings unforeseen problems that you may not be prepared to deal with.

For example, there is always the risk that you raise the rent on a tenant who has been loyal to you for some time and decides that the increase is too much. While this opens your property up to new tenants who may be willing to pay the increased rent amount, there is no guarantee this will happen immediately, even if the market, location, and economy state differently.

The truth is, rent paid at a lower rent amount each month is more than rent not being paid due to vacancy. If you are unwilling to risk losing a good thing, try holding off on a rent increase.

Trust BMG With Your Rental Properties

In the end, being a rental property owner can be difficult. Finding the balance between having a profitable rental property business and increasing your cash flow can be hard to do, especially if you do not think things through all the way.

Every property owner wants more money. However, it is wise to know that quality tenants can be hard to come by. Unfortunately, when you increase the rent, you may risk losing your excellent tenants.

Need More Advice? contact us today!

If you are unsure as to whether you should consider a rent increase, talk to the most knowledgeable property management company in town – Bay Property Management Group. With expertise in all things property-related, including the current market trends, the legalities behind rent increases, and the likelihood of a successful rent increase, Bay Property Management Group can help you with this trying decision.

So, contact Bay Management Group today and see how we can help you with your property needs to ensure you receive the highest monthly rate possible.