Requesting a Rent Increase
Rent increases can be requested annually. This usually occurs at the anniversary of the lease and contract. Here’s how the process works:
- No later than 60 days before the effective date of the increase, written notification must be sent to the tenant with a copy of the letter to your program representative here at HAC.
- Once the notice is received, the program representative will determine if the requested rent is reasonable based on area rents in the private market of similar size, type, and amenities, as well as the condition of the unit.
- The program representative will also ensure that the unit has passed inspection within the past 12 months.
- Once this is complete, the program represenative will notify the owner and tenant in writing if the increase is reasonable. It is then up to the tenant to decide if they can afford to remain in the unit with the higher rent, or give proper notice to terminate the lease and move.
The increase in the contract rent most often increases the tenant’s portion of the rent, not HAC’s portion. This will occur if the contract rent plus the estimated cost of tenant-paid utilities exceeds the applicable payment standard (APS). The APS is based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s fair market rents. The APS for a two-bedroom unit in Hyannis, for example, is $1,676. This amount includes the estimated cost of utilities. If the contract rent plus utilities exceeds this amount, the tenant will absorb the excess.
Many property owners are confused when they do not see an increase in the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), after they’ve been granted an increase. If the requested rent falls at or below the APS, HAC’s portion of the rent would then increase.
Annual rent increases will also be considered after the anniversary date of the lease and contract have passed. For example, if the property owner forgets to submit a request, the increase will be considered after a 60-day notice is received by both the tenant and HAC. This allows sufficient time for the tenant to determine if they can afford the increase, and HAC to process the information.