By Nicole Seidner
The so called “Pandemic Exhaustion” or “Pandemic Fatigue” is real enough that doctors are examining it, but there is good news. In 2022, we’re finally around the bend and getting back to the real world. That means normal renting, normal moving, and getting back to Work as it Was. What does the end of the pandemic mean for you?
Renting on Your Side
Sheltering in place has been over for quite some time, but now we’re in the swing of it. Restaurants are back open to full capacity as mask mandates are coming to an end. Indeed, Hawai’i is the only state that has a requirement for indoor mask usage. That means renters who worked in restaurants or other similar positions and subsequently lost their jobs in the pandemic are likely to have returned to work. With work means the better chance that they can pay their rents on-time. The return to normal, in addition, includes the end of some laws that impede your ability to ask for rent.
Now that more renters are moving about, it seems many landlords can have their pick of the top applicant. A majority of renters who sheltered in place during the pandemic are reporting to have felt a kind of “buyer’s remorse” as they were forced to stay inside for the past two years. Staying in one place for so long is a great way to pick out every flaw in their rental, and so now they’re finally moving. With so many moving at the exact same time, now seems to be a prime time to fill the vacancies and with the best applicant that you can get.
That Price Hike is Real
After the pandemic forced many landlords to take a strong, bad kick, many have sought to make up for lost time. Not a bad strategy, and certainly not an uncommon one. Across the nation, many states were reckoned with a rental increase. In Atlanta, Georgia, rent has increased by around 22%. In Buffalo, there was a case of rent increasing by 50%. In Orlando, Florida, one man noted his rent increased by 65%. It’s landlord’s market.
There are many pros and cons of a rental price increase. By raising your rent price to match the current rate of the market, you indicate that the property has the same or greater value to other properties. You can help cover the increased price of utilities or taxes affected by inflation, or perhaps get a touch more profit. At the same time, this might risk lowering the number of renters who can afford the higher price and thus affect how many renters apply or renew their lease. Depending on where your property is, this could be a positive or a negative.
If you choose to not take advantage of the current market, you could gain the benefit of a larger applicant pool. If you try raising the rent to above the current market price: it’s likely only renters with high paying jobs could afford the property. Your applicant pool could be smaller, but those who apply are likely to have a reliable financial situation and you’ll reap the benefits of earning a little more cash.
If you are considering raising rent prices, you have the option to only do so on properties that are currently unoccupied. This way, you don’t have to worry about pricing out your current tenants. Either way, with more renters moving, the ball is in your court.
About that Eviction Moratorium
Most eviction moratoriums have officially ended, with a sparing few continuing to hold out in 2022 such as in the County of Los Angeles and in the cities of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. It is predicted that many of these stragglers will end before 2022 runs its course, baring unpredictable pandemic related events.
In Minnesota, the moratorium is scheduled to end in June 2022. In Massachusetts, landlords can’t evict if and only if their tenant has a rental assistance application in the works. For both San Francisco and Los Angeles, there is no degree of certainty that these moratoriums will end in 2022. Oregon’s moratorium is holding out until the end of June 2022 and the County of Los Angeles’s moratorium could continue for certain, low-income renters until June 30, 2023!
Now that the pandemic is near its hopeful close, many can breathe a little bit easier. The hardships of sheltering in place are over, and in most of the country, we can greet each other with full smiles (if you so choose). That means from here on out, it’s going to get much better.
Nicole Seidner is a copywriter at ApplyConnect, an affiliate of Contemporary Information Corporation (CIC). She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep-dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen. This article has been contributed by CIC. CIC and ApplyConnect are the preferred tenant screening service providers of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles. For more information, go to https://aagla.org/cic-apply-connect.