Rents Have Soared Over 10%. 3 Things You Can Do to Keep Up

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Here's how to cope with rent increases.

Key points

  • After offering discounted rents during the pandemic, many landlords are now raising rents nationwide.
  • Renters looking at increases can take steps to handle those extra costs, like getting a side job.

These days, inflation is causing everything to rise in cost, from gas to groceries to apparel. And now, rising rents can be included on that list.

Single-family home rents were up 10.2% on an annual basis as of September, according to a new CoreLogic report. Many people are now struggling to keep up with rising costs.

Why have rents soared? There are a few reasons.

First, the demand for rentals is up now that the economy has improved and more people are in a strong-enough position to apply for a lease. Also, many landlords took a financial hit during the pandemic when eviction bans kept them from replacing non-paying tenants with paying ones. Some landlords may be raising rents in an effort to help recoup some of those losses.

Either way, if your rent has skyrocketed recently, it's important you find ways to avoid having that land you in debt. Here are a few ways you can cope.

1. Cut back on other expenses

You may already be living a pretty frugal lifestyle, so you may not have many options for cutting back on spending. But if you need to compensate for higher rent costs and moving isn't feasible for you, trimming a few bills may be your only choice.

To that end, look through your budget and see what options you have. While treating yourself to a streaming service costing $15 a month is by no means an unreasonable expense, if you need that extra $15 to cover your rent hike, you may have to cancel that service temporarily until you're able to come up with a better solution.

2. Find someone to split your rent with

If you can't talk your landlord out of a rent increase, you may be able to slash your rent by finding someone to split it with. Getting a roommate could mean less privacy, but it could also be a savvy financial move if your rent increase might otherwise put you at risk of landing in debt.

That said, you should consult with your landlord and check the terms of your lease to make sure you're allowed to bring in another person to share your home with. And definitely get permission if you'll be constructing a temporary wall or making any changes to your rental to accommodate a roommate.

3. Boost your income with a side job

The money you earn from a side hustle could supplement your paycheck nicely. That extra income could help you not only cover a rent increase, but also pad your savings account and pay down any debt you may have already accrued.

The side gig you choose can be based on your schedule and preferences. If you want a job you can do from home, look at remote customer service roles or data entry. If you want flexibility, driving for a ride-hailing service is a great bet, as you can set your own hours and work less or more depending on how busy you are.

At a time when many people haven't even recovered from the pandemic, a rent hike can be a harsh blow. Take these steps to compensate for higher rent -- and avoid having it wreck your finances altogether.

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