Across the country, landlords are increasing rents at record speed

Rents increase the most for those signing new leases. But even the people who renew them are shocked by the stickers. Carmen Santiago, a dental assistant who was paying $ 1,479 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in Tampa, gave her landlord notice in March after the rent increased by $ 300.

The mother-of-two then racked up over $ 1,000 in non-refundable application fees which she passed on to around 10 homeowners, sometimes lining up without even seeing the properties first. A few days before his lease expired in June, Santiago made a final drive. She visited five apartment complexes, all full. The sixth, a large complex of 22 buildings, had one unit.

The two-bedroom cost over $ 1,900 a month, including a mandatory cable bill – more than Santiago would have paid had she renewed her old lease. She could barely afford it but took it before it was gone.

“I didn’t know how hard it was to find something,” Santiago said. “Looking back, maybe I should have stayed.

Dopkins, the Tampa rental agent, said she recently represented a woman who had to put aside plans to move there for her job. After exhausting her relocation package on rental application fees, the client now plans to commute two and a half hours from her home in Ormond Beach, Fla., And perhaps stay in an Airbnb or a room. hotels in Tampa once or twice a year. the week.

Growing demand is most pronounced in Sun Belt cities which have seen an influx of pandemic arrivals. The Phoenix area saw the nation’s largest single-family home rent increases in June, rising nearly 17% from the previous year, according to data released this week by Corelogic. It was followed by Las Vegas, with a gain of 12.9%; Tucson, Arizona, 12.5%; and Miami, up 12.4%.

It’s a reversal from the pre-pandemic norm of tight housing in denser, more expensive cities – places like New York City, Boston and San Francisco, which have seen office workers flee during closures. These neighborhoods still have a stock of high-end apartments for white collar workers. However, demand is picking up.

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