TikTok user Katelyn Fletcher (@katelynfletcher) posted a video detailing how her rent in her Austin, Texas apartment was going to be increased by nearly $2,500 if she chose to renew her lease, and she was made aware of this by receiving a congratulations email from the rental company. “They really said GTFO” she captioned the clip.
The video has gone viral, with over 54,000 views. The comments section warranted quite some shock from users, with many saying “the audacity to write congratulations in the email”, and “For real! In need of 900 roommates”. Another user shared the price of their rent being $2,200, and “if they try to pull this on them, they’re gonna start swinging” Many initially doubted Katelyn’s claims, prompting her to confirm that what is happening is 100% real. Even the legality of the email itself was questioned. “That seems illegal” and “This is insane, I’d like to know how this isn’t illegal” were among some of the comments on this side of the conversation.
Sadly, it looks like this change is fully within Texas state law. The United States does not have a nationwide rental control system, so it is up to the individuals to fully develop their own systems for keeping their rent prices in line. The state of Texas itself does not have any laws to do with rental price changes, so landlords are able to raise their prices as much as they please without any legal repercussions.
In Austin, it has become a huge issue with these sudden rental price increases because of the flourishing tech industries, leading to more people moving to the city and the need for housing. Katelyn is not the first Austin resident to go viral for their rent increase. “My apartment in Austin was $1,400 and it was increased to $2,800 after I moved out in August of 2021,” one viewer of Katelyn’s video recalled. Rent seems to be increasing everywhere quite drastically and it has been really impactful in the worst way to tenants all over.