Tenants shocked by frequent rent raises

Can rent control protect me?

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My buddy James just called with a classic tale of woe. Signing a one-year lease on a place he just loved, he took for granted the price and terms. When the lease expired and turned into a month-to-month, he was shocked by a 10 percent rent raise. Six months later, it spiraled up another 10 percent. "How can they do that?" he quizzed. "Isn't there a limit to how often and how much my rent can shoot up?" It depends on exactly where you live and the laws that apply. Lease arrangements, notice laws for the area and rent control can add texture to this common yarn. Understanding a few basics may help keep your finances from unraveling: Which lease is best? A fixed–term rental agreement gives long-lasting protection from the cold, even if the property is sold. Usually fixed at a year, leases provide a written contract, agreeing to a price and terms for the rental that can be for any mutually agreeable length of time. What happens when the lease time is over? Read the fine print,...