Rents across the country fell during the pandemic, but are recovering quickly.

This means that many tenants, especially those who have secured a discounted spot in the past two years, will be prepared for unpleasant surprises when they renew their lease.

“Unfortunately, many tenants get an unexpected renovation and have to relocate,” said Allia Mohamed, CEO of Openigloo, which allows New York tenants to evaluate landlords.

That said, there are steps you can take to move forward, as well as some new protections for renters who risk relocating due to rising housing costs.

Do your research

First of all, tenants need to know all the rights of their city and state, Mohamed said.

There is a growing movement across the country to regulate rent increases. In Oregon, for example, most of the increases are capped at 7% plus inflation.

Santa Ana, California. A law was passed in October that raises rental ceilings on most properties to more than 3% over 12 months or to 80% of the index’s annual change in consumer prices, whichever is inferior. (If there is no inflation in a year, rents cannot be raised at all.)

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Meanwhile, residents of Saint Paul, Minnesota voted in favor of a rent control policy this month that also limits increases to 3% per annum.

While many landlords are free to raise their rent as much as they want if they renovate, some will need to let you know in advance.

For example, Seattle landlords are required to give tenants 180-day notice for changes, and most Washington state renters have at least a 60-day upfront warranty.

In Seattle and Portland, Oregon, your landlord may have to pay your moving costs if you can’t wait.

You can get an idea of how fair your lease renewal rate is by comparing it to similar home rentals in your area, Mohamed said. Openigloo.com has a rent calculator that will help New Yorkers find out if they are overpaying. Referees can see average rental rates in many cities on Zumper.com.

“If you find other places near you are cheaper, make a list of examples,” said Patty Crawford, Zumper’s vice president of strategic accounts. “The more data you have, the better.”

In addition to the unique numbers, it can be helpful to find out more about the owner and the building.

To negotiate

What you learn can give you more leverage in your transactions.

“Do you have a small owner living in your building?” Mohamed asked. You may want to emphasize how thoughtful and calm you are as a tenant and want to keep yourself as a neighbor, she suggested.

“Does your landlord have an empty apartment?” added Mohammed. “You could offer to spread the word and suggest that your friends help them occupy the apartment in exchange for a rent subsidy or a discount.”

You can also ask your landlord questions about their options.

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