Banked Rent Increases

Any there any owners here who have finally used some banked annual rent increases on their tenants? Any stories to share? I have a tenant in a small studio who all in all has been good and I have not raised her rent ever. Part of the reason is that when she moved in the rent I got was fairly strong for the space and since she is a student I figured she would probably move after graduation. Well, that hasn’t happened so it may be time for me to collect what is rightfully due to me at this point since expenses have certainly gone up.

I know the SF Rent Board lists the max rent increases allowed by year going back some so it should be easy to detail how I arrived at the cumulative rent increase.

How old is your unit? Rent-controlled?

In SF in a building that was built before 1979 so rent control laws apply. It is not much, but banked increases would exceed 5 years worth.

I feel like you should always give a regular rent increase. (I’m saying that as a renter even!) I did not enjoy the 15% rent increase our landladies gave us despite having 0% the three years before. The problem is I feel like they could do it again, or even more, at any time–I need some predictability in my life, and 15% rent increases are not it. Just reliably raise the rent 5% every year and be done with it. They can always ask you not to increase at all if it’s an issue.


I agree raise rents regularly. …unless of course you want the tenants out

Well, the tenant was from back east and is here for school. I figured back then, the tenant would stay 5-6 years tops and hey I was a student too so this was my way of giving back. I had TONS of interest in my studio apartment, with people willing to give me 6 months in advance, etc, etc. The tenant’s parents literally begged me to give it to them. Keep in mind this was a brand new apartment with all upgrades and every possible utility included in the rent. The thing is, it has now progressed to well over 6 years and quite frankly my smaller studio apartments are commanding more rent that this nice cute one. Maybe it is that time I become Mr. Meanie Landlord…

Is your studio considered a condo? I know the Costa Hawkins Law exempts SFH and Condos from rent control. If it is, then you can probably raise it to whatever you want.

Go have a talk with her. If she’s employed explain that you gave her the apartment to pay-it-forward, but that if shes graduated that you’d like her to pay reasonable rent or to make space for another student.

Nope, unfortunately not. In SF so rent control rules. Again, the tenant is not bad and again I was a young, poor person before too. Something will happen. A job. A partner. But this city is so darn nice, I wouldn’t leave either…

Go talk to her. Tell her why you’re raising the rent. Let her know you were trying to do a favor.


Buy a place. Then you’ll have predictability.

Mortgage payments are level. Prop 13 limits annual property tax increases to 2%.

That’s the beauty of it. Predictability. Stability.