It’s another sign of the burning housing market in North Texas.
Renters in our area are reporting major ‘sticker shock’ when it comes to rent increases.
In one case, over $ 700.
Courtney Humphries must quickly decide where she, her child and her dog will live in the coming months.
“I have ten days to find out,” she said.
Humphries has been renting a house in Plano for three years without increasing his rent.
A good deal, she admits.
She now rents monthly and has just received a notice that leaves her speechless.
“My jaw dropped,” she said. “I said to myself, ‘Am I reading well? “”
She has been advised that if she wishes to continue living in the house, she will have to pay an additional rent of $ 750 and sign a one-year lease or move out.
Perfectly legal and a sign of the times, according to an expert.
“Rental rates are always a derivative of what house prices are,” said Marc Moffitt, UNT’s assistant professor of real estate. “It’s all a function of supply and demand and that’s where the rubber meets the road.”
Moffitt says a strong national economy and growing numbers of people relocating to Texas have resulted in increased demand for housing and, as a result, increased rental prices.
“Taxes, insurance and maintenance, the cost of operating a house for rent have increased dramatically,” Moffitt said.
The owner’s spokesperson declined an on-camera interview but told NBC 5 via email:
“The increase in homeowners’ spending on property taxes, insurance premiums and maintenance,” adding that “the increase is based on the current market price.”
It is not known if the landlord wants the tenant to leave or if he wants to rent or sell to someone else.
Humphries says she’s been a good tenant and paid the rent on time.
“I’m sure month after month my situation played a big factor here,” she said. “I think my owner, he just wants to be at the market.”
She doesn’t dispute that the increase would bring the home back into the market value range, which Moffitt says often ends up being the deciding factor in rental prices.
An online check of the home’s property tax bill found that the owner’s property taxes had decreased over the past two years, not increased.
NBC 5 spoke with the spokesperson for the owner who said they would convey the matter of the discrepancy to the owner.
We haven’t heard back yet.
“Being on a month-to-month contract right now is exceptionally risky for tenants,” warns Moffitt.
The monthly deal offers little to no security for either party, he adds.
Finding a rental right now is also a difficult task.
“I would advise trying to get as long an initial term as possible and then consider getting pre-defined renewal options as well,” he said.
Humphries says she couldn’t get a raise at work. The single mom is worried that others will face the same challenges.
“When you don’t have a raise and you have increases like this for your shelter, that’s a big concern,” she said. “There should be some sort of regulation on it. “
A cap, she said, should be placed by the state on the amount of rents that can increase in Texas, as enacted by California.