SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — Property owners across Texas have balked at the sight of their 2023 appraisals, including rental property owners. With the recent increases in appraisals, landlords may start to see income loss and tenants may begin seeing parallel increases in their rent.
Concho Valley Homepage spoke with Robbi Groat, President of the San Angelo Apartment Association and Patrice Riels, Vice President of the San Angelo Apartment Association, about how skyrocketing appraisals will affect landlords and tenants across the city.
When asked about the direct impact the appraisals will have on renters Groat told CVHP it will create a ‘downhill effect.’
“The higher appraisal rates mean our owners are having to pay more money, and their main source of income is rent, “said Groat. “Obviously, that has a downhill effect, that means our residents are going to have to have rent increases in order to cover the increases we’re seeing on the property tax.”
Riels added that outside of increasing rent to help offset the cost, renters may see the cost of other amenities provided by the property owner go up.
Do renters have any protections?
According to Groat, the answer is no.
“We don’t want to try and gauge anyone,” said Groat. “At the same time, we are in the business of staying in business.”
Groat said that if landlords do not pass the expenses on to their residents, they can not do what needs to be done for their properties. The average upkeep of the property should not see any ill effects. Still, new additions, such as playgrounds, dog parks, or upgrades to current facilities, may be postponed or even discarded.
Riels, however, said that tenants could protect themselves by signing the longest possible lease available to lock in their current rent.
According to the Texas State Law Library, in the state of Texas, there is no law that places limits on how much a landlord can increase the rent, which means that landlords are legally allowed to raise the rent as much as they want.
If a landlord is trying to increase the rent by too much, the tenant can either try to negotiate or choose not to renew their lease.
Riels also suggests tenants maintain an open and honest line of communication with their landlords.
“We understand that feeling for that resident. They’re the one who we are here to protect,” said Reils, “At the end of the day, we have a huge heart for our residents, nobody wants to see them suffer, and they shouldn’t have to.”
Groat advises tenants to pay attention to their leases, protecting both the property owner and the tenants. Additionally, pay attention to the end date of the lease.
“They really need to know that lease. This is their bible right here, protect this, know it, read it, you’ve signed it, it’s a legally binding contract,” said Reils, “That responsibility is on you now.”
Groat and Riels ask that the rental community be kind to property managers and understand that the rental increases are not the fault of the property’s management.
“That is coming from higher up,” said Groat.”I don’t think some people really understand what those increases are for.”