Renters in Charlotte apartments facing steep hikes in price for renewal

“I thought it was unjustifiable,” one local tenant said.
According to Redfin, the average monthly rent in March was $1,741, which is more than a 9.2 percent increase year-over-year.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - If you started renting last summer, you’re up for a renewal and you may be experiencing sticker shock from the increase in rent.

Renting in Charlotte in general is pricey.

According to Redfin, the average monthly rent in March was $1,741, which is more than a 9.2 percent increase year-over-year.

“I used to live in University and I wanted to live somewhere more walkable, and we toured a bunch of apartments in South End, and this one just really worked with our budget at the time,” Wynee Bermudez, who rents at Camden South End, said.

Bermudez and her fiancé signed a one-bedroom lease in June 2021. She loves the location, but she does not love what they want her to pay moving forward.

Right now they pay $1,688 a month, and to renew by the end of April, they would have to pay $2,060. If they renewed after that, they would not qualify for the discount and it would go up to $2,110.

It’s a 25% increase and a hike of more than $400 per month.

“There are no upgrades to any amenities, so I thought it was unjustifiable,” Bermudez said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Camden said:

“We use a revenue management system to evaluate rents for each floorplan type based on supply and demand to determine a fair current market value for each apartment as leases expire.”

According to Charlotte-based landlord and tenant attorney Andrew Gordon, landlords have the right to do this.

“There’s no protection in place that prevents a rent increase; there’s no protection in place that dictates how much the rent can be increased,” Gordon said.

It’s why he suggests signing as long of a lease as possible and negotiating the price.

“If they’ve had repair issues or services they were promised that were not provided, or they were improperly charged certain fees and they paid those fees, they can use those issues to try to negotiate the rental rate down,” he said.

Prices have forced Bermudez to move out, and she’s now searching for a cheaper place to live.

“I feel like wherever I move, rent’s gonna go right back up, so it has put buying on my radar,” she said.

She says the trouble with buying is that market is not any better.

“I mean, out of my price range as a millennial,” she said.

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