A video showing nearly $2,500 in rent increases went viral this week after it was posted by user Katelyn (@katelynfletcher).
In the TikTok video, Katelyn shows an email that begins with the word “Congratulations” and lists her alleged current rental price of $2,200. The video is then trimmed to show what Katelyn says her new rental cost would be if she chose to renew — $4,678, a staggering increase of nearly $2,500. Katelyn notes that she lives in Austin, Texas.
“They really said GTFO,” Katelyn captioned the clip.
The video currently has over 54,000 views.
@katelynfletcher You really said GTFO 💀💀💀 #rent #austin #austintx #ha ♬ original sound – Comedybaby
In the comments, TikTokers were shocked.
“The audacity to write ‘congratulations’ in the email,” said one.
“For real!” added another. “We need 900 roommates.”
“Mine is $2200,” shared a third. “If they try to put that on me, I start swinging.”
For any doubters, Katelyn claimed in comments, “It’s real, I can confirm that.”
Many questioned the legality of such a move.
“This appears to be illegal,” wrote one user.
“This is crazy and I would like to know why it’s not illegal,” said another TikToker.
It appears that this move is within the bounds of Texas law. The United States reportedly does not have a statewide rent control or stabilization system, relying on individual states to develop their own systems to keep rent rates under control.
According to the Austin Tenants Council, there are no such laws or regulations in Texas regarding rent increases. Accordingly, landlords are free to increase the rental prices as they wish without legal consequences.
This is a particularly big problem in cities like Austin, where a growing tech industry and other factors have led to rapid population growth — and consequently increased demand in the housing market.
Additionally, according to Texas-based firm McCaw Property Management, “there is no law in Texas requiring landlords to provide tenants with a rent increase notice.” However, it is also noted that a rental agreement must expire before the rental price can be changed.
As many users noted in comments, this seems to be a trend in Austin right now. Katelyn isn’t the first Austin resident to go viral after blasting her rent increase on TikTok.
“My apartment in Austin was $1400, I moved out in August 2021,” one viewer recalled. “Now it’s up to $2800.”
Spectrum News reports that Austin rental prices increased 35% between January 2021 and January 2022, the largest increase recorded for any city nationwide.
Katelyn didn’t immediately respond to Daily Dot’s request for comment via TikTok comment and email.
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*Initial publication: May 6, 2022 at 8:21 am CDT
Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine and more.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/rent-goes-up-2500-austin/ Woman says her rent in Austin went up nearly $2,500