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Twin Falls real estate boom stokes fears of rent hikes at lease renewal time

There are people out there, who I hate to say it, but they are taking advantage of tenants
Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 10:28 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Jeff Duggan of Real Property Management in Twin Falls says he’s seen their owners looking to increase their tenants’ rent when it’s time to renew a lease.

“There are people out there, who I hate to say it, but they are taking advantage of tenants and see the values go up, so they kind of want to ride that bandwagon and get a big increase when they can,” said Duggan.

According to Duggan, one reason why rents are being increased is higher property taxes in the area. The other primary factor in increases is the high demand for rentals, which has left available properties scarce.

“I’m right now begging people to find us properties to rent,” said Duggan. “We have zero in our inventory and we manage over 225 properties.”

Higher rent isn’t the only fear for tenants, however, as some owners are deciding not to offer a new lease, and are instead selling the property. This — according to one Twin Falls real estate agent — is increasingly common with properties owned by investors.

“We’re working with two investors right now who, unfortunately, is selling five homes so that’s five families that will be affected,” said Magic Valley Realty Broker & Owner Bryan Newberry.

The South Central Community Action Partnership in Twin Falls aids community members in need. They told KMVT they have seen an uptick in people who can’t afford to pay rent after a price hike, as well as, people who have been evicted and can’t find an available property for rent.

What can you do to best position yourself financially if your lease is soon up? Duggan says keeping up the property is a solid start towards making yourself a tenant that owners want to keep.

“Keep your properties nice,” said Duggan. “That’s the best thing you can do....to take a little pride and a little bit of ownership in what you’re renting.”

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