Ask Gerald!

Q: Hi Gerald, my tenant is not happy about getting a rent increase although the lease she signed states that the Landlord is entitled to raise the rent.  Of course we would like to keep a good relationship!  How should I reply to this?   Thanks in advance! Julie

G: Excellent question Julie.  You are correct to be concerned about maintaining a good relationship with your tenant.  Firstly, you should openly acknowledge that you understand and appreciate how your tenant feels about the rent increase.  I normally tell tenants in many communications that although I am a landlord, I know what it feels like to be a tenant because I have been a tenant in the past and I understand where they are coming from.  I would go on to say that you have no choice but to increase rent periodically because over time your costs as a landlord like property taxes, insurance and maintenance increase.   In the future, I suggest you include the reasoning for the increase within the letter notifying the tenant of the rent increase (I do in mine).  Good luck.