Houston rental prices have skyrocketed 23% over the last seven years. This increase is likely due to rising market prices or increased property taxes. As a landlord, you might want to follow suit and raise rent on your property.
Increasing rent is simple if your unit is unoccupied. But what's the protocol if you have tenants? Learn how to increase rent for an occupied unit in Houston.
Can I Raise Rent on My Property?
Many states have rent control laws in place to limit increases and prices. Landlords in these areas must list their properties below a fixed price point. They also cannot increase the rent whenever they see fit.
Texas isn't one of those states, so as a property owner, you have complete control. Depending on the type of contract you offer, you'll have to follow a few regulations. You also have to abide by certain exceptions and limitations.
Texas Rent Increase Laws
The first condition that determines the rent increase process is your lease type. Landlords in Texas can offer a month-to-month contract or a year-long lease with a set ending date.
If your tenant has signed a year-long lease, you don't need to provide notice before raising the rent. This scenario is only the case if the increase occurs at the end of their lease term. For month-to-month contracts, landlords need to provide a 30-days written rent increase notice.
A tenant who doesn't think an increase is fair can try to negotiate or choose not to renew. Municipalities are also allowed to create a form of rent control during emergencies. The Texas Property Code (Section 214.902) outlines these situations.
Natural disasters like fires, floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes may call for a temporary rent limit. Alternatively, manmade disasters like oil spills, riots, or military actions qualify for rent control regulations. The decision must follow the governor's approval and finish when the disaster is contained.
How to Raise the Rent of Your Property
The simplest way to raise rent is to hire a property management company! Besides handling the nitty-gritty, property managers offer many other benefits, including the following:
- Marketing your property
- Screening tenants
- Conducting property maintenance
- Collecting rent
- Dealing with property issues
Property managers are essential if you don't live in the same city as your rental. But even if you're local, a management company can take the stress out of day-to-day landlord problems! But if you choose to deal with the rent increase yourself, follow these tips:
- Research market rent in your area to set a fair price
- Provide plenty of notice to your tenants
- Explain why you're choosing to raise the rent
- Try increasing in smaller increments
- Offer a freebie, such as new paint
- Negotiate with your tenant
Dealing with rent increases fairly and legally will help you maintain your reputation as a good landlord. It will also lead to higher tenant retention, meaning lower marketing costs for you.
Simplify Your Life With Property Management
Good property owners raise rent with fairness and respect to their tenants. Deciding to raise rent may result in a difficult conversation, unwilling tenants, or an empty rental. Let a professional property management company handle the stress for you.
Home River Group Houston prides itself on years of experience and a family of happy clients. We can handle all of your property management needs. Get in touch today to get started!