COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s not just home prices soaring in 2021.

Rents are going up too this year. And many tenants can’t understand why and don’t know if they will have the extra money to pay.

But now we are hearing from a landlord, as to the reasons behind these hikes.

Earlier this year, we spoke with Amanda Barger, unable to pay her rising rent at her mobile home, and facing eviction.

“I know this is a business, but they could have a little kindness,” she said.

Barbara Kelley’s rent was raised over $100 a month, and she told us she might have to move as a result.

“$117 to be exact, per month,” she said.

Stories like this can make landlords look like the boogeyman.

But several have contacted us after our reporting to say it has been a difficult year, with rising water bills and property taxes, and tenants missing payments.

Deborah Collins works for a major landlord, and manages 25 apartments and rental homes.

“We struggled along with everyone else in the pandemic,” she said.

She says many landlords lost income last year.

“We canceled all late fees for the year, we worked on payment plans for any residents that were behind.”

The eviction moratorium, she says, meant they had to allow tenants to go months without paying rent.

“A lot of housing providers are trying to recoup those losses,” she explained, “and are doing it with a rental price hike.”

Collins says most landlords are just trying to make themselves whole again, and are not price gouging.

Of course, that’s little consolation to people like Barbara Kelley, struggling to accept a rent hike that could force her to move.

“We are going to have to save up,” she said, “and then probably move out.”

Collin’s advice to tenants: be courteous and try to negotiate a rent hike.

She says most landlords would rather keep a good tenant, then face the time and expense to find a new one.

As always don’t waste your money.

Don’t Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).
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