Rise in rent? Landlords have rights to increase payments during lease renewal

Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 6:45 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Constables’ Office said landlords have the right to raise rent at lease renewal, or if a tenant isn’t locked into a lease and pays month-to-month.

This is nothing new to people like Karen Sims, who said her rent is raised by about $20 every lease renewal. This year, the 69-year-old said she was shocked to learn her rent will increase more than $130 per month.

Because of the rise in rent, Sims said she’s not sure what she’ll do next.

“I’m on social security, I’ve been a loyal tenant here. Like I said, I have lived here since 2012,” Sims said.

Recently, finding affordable housing has become a problem in Tucson.

Pima County Constable Kristen Randall said pre-pandemic, about five of every 100 apartments were vacant. Now there’s even fewer, with only three vacant out of every 100.

“About five percent and lower, that’s when you’re starting to look at a really tight market. It’s good for the landlord and the property managers but not so good if you’re trying to find apartments, especially affordable apartments,” Randall said.

The office also said people shouldn’t immediately expect for the eviction moratorium to save them, if their income hasn’t been impacted by COVID.

“Those evictions go through and they’re not protected by the CDC moratorium,” said Nahrin Jabro, a social worker at the Pima County Constables’ Office.

The constable’s office recommends people visit the Pima County Housing Center for more affordable housing options.

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