Property Management Blog

Handling Rent Increases: Communicating Changes to San Diego Residents

Ally Trygar - Thursday, March 14, 2024
{{ post.title }}

Rental increases are rarely a surprise. You invest in real estate; you know that increasing rent is necessary to keep up with market rental values and to maintain your property's profitability. Maintenance costs rise every year and the cost of doing business goes up pretty consistently. You’re also trying to increase your cash flow while your investment property appreciates. Earning more rent gets you there. 

As an investor, you understand and appreciate that time of year when you’re ready to renew the lease and raise the rent. 

Your residents, however, probably have a different view of those increases. With rents rising pretty quickly over the last couple of years, even well-qualified residents are feeling the pinch. Inflation has also pushed the cost of everything higher, from utilities to groceries to gas. 

Most residents expect an increase in rent, even with statewide rent control provisions in place. There’s no reason to shy away from raising your rents. The key is communicating these rental increases to residents in a way that’s objective, empathetic, and firm. 

A good relationship will help. So will a San Diego property management partner

Here are some of our professional best practices for communicating rental increases to residents. If you’re managing your own investment property, use these tips to communicate the changes while keeping your relationship with your residents positive.

Provide Adequate Notice of Rental Increases

Check your lease agreement before raising the rent, because there you will find the amount of notice you’re required to give your residents before raising the rent. Make sure you’re complying with the law. Most properties in California will require at least 30 days and up to 90 days of notice. If the rent increase is less than 10 percent, you must provide notice 30 days before the increase can take effect. If the rent increase is more than 10 percent, you must provide notice 90 days before it can take effect.

When you provide your residents with the appropriate notice, explain that you're increasing rent and provide the new amount, the date it becomes effective and a brief explanation of how you arrived at the new cost. Remember to indicate if the rental increase is based on inflation, market trends or if it's a necessary adjustment. You don’t want to get into a lengthy analysis of the market, but providing your reasoning to your residents allows them to understand why the increase is necessary.

Always confirm your rental increase in writing, even if you’ve had a conversation with your residents about what they can expect.

Make Sure Your Rent Increase Is Reasonable

It’s much easier to communicate a reasonable rental increase than one that’s absurdly high. 

If your investment property is covered by California’s rent control laws, there will be a strict limit on how high you can raise the rent, and that limit will depend on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). 

Part of communicating rental increases is directing your residents to your lease agreement. If your property is exempt from California rent control laws, you must have language in your lease agreement that reflects the exemption. A lease renewal period is a good time to confirm this language exists. 

Sudden or excessively high increases could price out your long-term residents and give them a reason to leave. Retaining residents is critical to your investment success, so when you communicate the rental increase, make sure you let them know that you appreciate their excellent treatment of the property, you value their relationship with you, and you hope they’ll sign on for another year or longer.

Remain Professional When Delivering News of a Rental Increase

As you prepare to deliver the news, communicate professionally, and provide details in writing so that they are documented and consistent with what the resident understands. 

Your communication needs to be concise and straightforward. In detail, communicate the reasons for the rental increase and what your residents can expect in their new lease. Be open to answering any questions they may have and use this as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your residents.

Responsiveness will be crucial. If your residents request a meeting or need clarification, be available and accessible. 

Technology and Rental Increases 

If you’re not already leveraging technology to make screening, leasing, maintaining, and managing your investment properties more efficient, you should start. Communication improves with technology as well. When communicating rental increases to residents, automate your processes. This can be helpful when generating lease agreements and rent notices. You’ll find fewer inefficiencies in your business and those rental increases will be more systematic and market-driven.

San Diego Property Management Help

Smart investors understand the value of professional property management in San Diego, and if you’re already working with a management partner, this is an excellent time to start. Your property management team will handle all of the details that otherwise take up your time and resources. Communicating rental increases to residents is just part of what we do. We’re also investing in our resident relationships and gathering data about the market in order to recommend rental values that make sense and are both competitive and profitable. We also stay on top of all the legal requirements that come with renting out investment properties in San Diego and throughout California. 

Let your property manager handle the communication around rental increases and the entire lease renewal process. It’s better for you, your residents, and your property.

Communicating rental increases to residents is an essential step in being a successful real estate investor. How you convey this message can have a significant impact on your relationship with your residents and make the difference in whether they move out or renew their lease agreement. 

Contact Property Manager

Again, leaving this to a professional property manager is best. If you’re doing it alone, however, these tips will help you with your next communication around rental increases and improve the relationship you have with your residents. 

If you have any questions, we’d be happy to answer them. Please contact us at PURE Property Management for all of your San Diego residential real estate needs. 

Recent Posts


Are You Ready to Get Started?