Is there a limit as to how much a rent increase can be?

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Is there a limit as to how much a rent increase can be?

My landlord just sent me notice of a $90 rent increase, which is 13.7%. I’m on a mostly fixed income from Social Security, and there hasn’t been a COLA in two years, and my current rent is about 2/3rd of my total income monthly. I’m wondering if this increase is excessive according to tenant law. I can’t find anything on the web specific to this. I plan on talking to my landlord, but I would like to know what my rights are under the law before I do.

Asked on June 9, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, no--the law does not specify how much a landlord may or may not increase rent each year. If the lease provides for a maximum increase, that will be enforced; if you are in federally subsidized housing (e.g. section 8 housing; PHA housing; tax-credit units), there may be limitations on increases and/or on total rent; and it's also possible that your municipality has some rent control ordinance or the like in effect (you can check at city/town hall or with your municipality's housing department). However, unless one of these specific protections is in place, the landlord may essentially look to charge whatever he or she wants for rent, unfortunately.


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