DALLAS, Texas — SmartCity, a nationwide apartment locator service founded in Dallas in 2013, told WFAA Monday that rent is rising on average 10-15% across the metro.
This all coming as homeowners begin protesting soaring property appraisals thanks to a red-hot housing market in Texas.
For weeks, WFAA has been receiving emails from renters saying their rent renewal offers are increasing anywhere between $200 and $400.
Sandy Rollins, the Texas Tenants' Union executive director, told WFAA on Monday that her office is currently helping a 66-year-old man from Garland who saw his rent increase by $800.
"His rent went from $1,000 to $1,800," Rollins said. "The rent is so outrageous right now, and it's leading to a rise in evictions too. They're not unrelated. And people who start looking for a new place are running into the same problem."
Rollins, who has advocated for rent control in Texas, says tenants don't have many options.
No statewide rent control means landlords can raise rent however they want and as often as possible.
Local governments can pass rent control measures during a housing emergency due to a disaster -- but the governor has to sign off on it.
"That's except for subsidized housing," Rollins said. "There is no cap on rents. Nothing says it has to be tied to the consumer price index, and nothing says it has to be linked with what you can afford, no matter how long you might have lived there. There's nothing that says they can't displace you if you can't afford it."
Tim Page, a D-FW market leader for SmartCity, told WFAA that folks in the metro have typically seen their rents increase between 3% and 5%.
"It's absolutely crazy right now," Page said. "In some cases, it's going up 20%."
Page has helped out hundreds of people relocate to Texas or a new apartment if they don't want to overpay anymore.
He says there are a lot of things driving the spike.
"D-FW has become a more desired location, so rent naturally increases," Page said.
From July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2021, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex was estimated to have added about 97,290 people to the area. According to the Census Bureau, this was the most significant increase in the country.
The increase in people moving here has contributed to a booming housing market statewide. Home prices are soaring due to a limited supply of housing -- and as valuations increase, so do property taxes which landlords pass on to renters.
"A couple of years ago, our starting point was $900 for a one-bedroom apartment, and now it's at $1,200," Page said.
"We don't have a magic wand to make this better -- but we do the homework for clients and show them what will be the best bang for the buck."
And the homework -- seemingly will keep piling up.