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Woman stunned to learn her neighbor with the same floor plan pays $600 more in rent

'Renters who originally received pandemic pricing are now experiencing steep rent increases at renewal–sometimes upward of 40%.'

Woman stunned to learn her neighbor with the same floor plan pays $600 more in rent
Cover Image Source: TikTok/cal_cifer_2.0

Rental rates have been rising across the United States, with certain places—such as Austin, Texas—seeing average increases of up to 40%. This worrying trend has left many people with the difficult choice of finding a cheaper place to live or paying much more to stay in their present homes. TikTok user Callie, who goes by @cal_cifer_2.0 on the platform, addressed this issue in a video late last month, recounting how she found that her new neighbor was astonished to hear that other renters were paying substantially lower rent than them.



 

"Y'all we got some community drama going on. Let me tell you about it. Just for some context: when I moved into my current house, about three years ago, I was paying just over a thousand dollars a month," Callie says in the video that's been viewed more than 1.3 million times. "I have renewed since then twice or three times, and I am currently paying right under 1300. Well, I had a new neighbor move in right at the turn of the year and we would always wave. We, like, chit-chatted but I never actually had a conversation with her."



 

"And then, yesterday I noticed that she was talking to some of our neighbors that are a little bit farther down the street," she continued. "Obviously didn't think anything of it, you talk to your neighbor. But then the next time I went out, I noticed that she was a couple doors down talking to that neighbor and it kind of looked like she was going door to door. Well, today, I was going out to go to the store and she saw me and like waved that I should stop. So I stop and we're chitchatting, whatever."



 

According to Callie, her neighbor then got around to asking the question they'd been asking others in the neighborhood. "And she says, 'Can I ask you a personal question?' I suppose. She says, 'What are you paying in rent?' And I tell her, and I explain what it was when I moved in, etc. Her face goes bright red," the TikTok user recalled. "She goes, 'That's, that's what I thought.' And I said, 'If you don't mind me asking, why?' They are charging her almost 1900 a month and we all have the same one-bedroom model; Is that legal?"

Different pricing for the same floor plan can be caused by a variety of factors such as pets, the number of people living on the property, smoking, and so on. Because the price isn't determined just by cost, market circumstances also tend to have a significant impact on it. Landlords are ultimately looking to generate as much money as possible from their property. If you've been there for a while, you're probably getting a better deal than someone who has just moved in. However, speaking to CNBC, Allia Mohamed, the CEO of Openigloo—which allows renters in New York City to review landlords—revealed that some landlords aren't sparing even their existing tenants.

"Renters who originally received pandemic pricing are now experiencing steep rent increases at renewal–sometimes upward of 40%," said Mohamed. "I'm amazed this is legal." Robert Pellegrini, president of PK Boston, a real estate and collections law firm with offices in the Greater Boston area, also weighed in on the matter while talking to realtor.com. "When it comes to how much a landlord can raise rent, anything flies," he said. "There are no rules, and it's totally at their discretion."

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