KIYC: Apartment, home rentals have become more than some can handle. So, what are the options?
Apartment and home rent prices have been skyrocketing since the pandemic ended, and some viewers say it's more than they can handle.
Lately, Kane in Your Corner has been receiving a ton of calls from people upset about big rent hikes.
“Building management will be raising our rent 15-24%,” says Heather. "I understand there is inflation, but this rent increase is absurd. I am reaching out to you to please help in any way you can."
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But New Jersey does not have statewide rent control, neither do New York or Connecticut. Some cities and towns do, but not the one Heather lives in. So, is there anything she can do? Well, maybe.
The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs says a tenant can't be forced to pay an unconscionable rent increase. If you think you're being hit with one, you can choose to keep paying your old rent.
Your landlord can try to evict you, and a judge will decide if the increase is fair based on the average rent in the area, the landlords' profits and whether the increase would shock a reasonable person.
If you're going to try this, you need to set aside the extra rent money each month because if you lose, you'll owe it all at once. Currently, you can only do this in New Jersey; New York and Connecticut don't have that kind of law.
New York is considering one, in fact, it would go even further, limiting rent increases to one and a half times the rate of inflation – but right now, that's just a proposal.
If you have a consumer story that needs to be investigated, you can get Kane in Your Corner by calling 732-738-KANE, or emailing KaneInYourCorner@news12.com. Here's more information to send tips.