NewsLet Joe Know


'Absurd' rent increase means renter would owe 5 times more

Money wallet AP
Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 14:02:20-05

GILBERT, AZ — You know if you're a renter in Arizona, it is not a good time to renew a lease. Rates are up almost everywhere and not just by a small amount.

But one renter can't believe what she's seeing...

Lana says she'd have to pay five times her current rate because she needs to rent month-to-month.

It's a 700-square-foot apartment on the third floor in the Aiya apartment complex in Gilbert.

She's currently paying $1,400 a month for a year lease, which is ending soon.

She thought by now construction on her new house would be completed and she could move in, but that's taking longer than planned.

So, Lana says she called Aiya management wanting to extend her lease by going month-to-month.

The rate sheet shows that if she signed for a year lease, she would pay $1,629 a month — not much higher than the $1,400 she was paying.

A six-month lease increased to $2,505 monthly.

And if Lana rented the way she wanted, month-to-month, the rate would be a whopping $7,415.

That's $7,415 a month.

She says she couldn't believe the amount and called management expecting them to say it was a printing error.

"They said, yeah, that is the right number... I said this is a one-bedroom, there is no elevator, there is no garage... I mean $7,000 — that is absurd," Lana says.

With no rent control in Arizona, landlords can charge what they want — but $7,400 a month?

Is it a deterrent so people lock in longer terms?

Would they expect anyone to pay it?

We took our questions to Aiya Apartments through emails and in-person with a visit to their Gilbert office.

I was told my contact information would get to corporate management.

No one from Aiya got back to me.

Lana says she expected to pay some increase by renting month-to-month. She says she thought having already been there a year would count for more.

"It's not about the money. It's about treating people the right way," Lana says.

Still unsure when her house will be done, Lana did what she tried to avoid. She signed a shorter-term contract for a much lower amount per month.

But she knows if her house is completed during that time, she's still committed to the months-long lease payments.

Are you a renter? What are you facing? Let me know:

Learn more about your rights as a renter.