Rental demand and cost is increasing in Hampton Roads

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Hampton Roads tenants are feeling the pressure when it comes to their housing rates.

Local resident Sean O’Brien was one of those renters who took to his Facebook page to vent about what he called “out of control” rental prices in Virginia Beach.

His post quickly went viral as others commented that they had experienced similar price increases.

In Virginia there is no limit on rent increases a landlord can impose, but must give 30 days written notice.

“We’re seeing applicants who are currently living in hotels because the landlord sold their home or the rent went up so much that current tenants couldn’t afford it,” said Phil Kazmierczak, vice president of property management. of the Hampton Roads Realtors Association and Lease Board.

He says prices are high, but so is demand.

“I can put a rental property on the market right now and I can have eight to 10 inquiries by the time I get home at the end of the day,” Kazmierczak said.

He says the rent increases are based on several factors dating back to the 2012 recession, inflation and, of course, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are a lot of investors, a lot of people trying to recover what has been lost. There are a lot of people who didn’t qualify for rent relief or didn’t apply and those investors took it as a loss,” Kazmierczak said.

For example, the Breeden Company owns many apartment complexes across the region and state.
10 On Your Side spoke with Breeden Property Management Vice President Barry Tomlin.

Tomlin says they’ve kept the same rent during the pandemic, but it’s different now that things are moving again.

“We started seeing rental rates early in the year around 5%, and the most recent I’ve seen is between 8 and 10%. We’re around 8%, [that] is what we see here in our business,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin says they also had to offset some cost increases on their end.

“A lot of that is why we had to raise the rent as much as we are, just because of the expense of services like housekeepers, painters and carpet cleaners,” Tomlin added.

He says they are working with tenants on budgeting and cheaper options if they need help.

“We ask one of our residents, if you need any help, we’ll sit down with you, review and give you the options. We want people to stay with us, and if the current unit doesn’t work, we’ll find this one,” Tomlin said.

It’s unclear how long those rates will last or if they’ll rise further, but Kazmierczak says they’ll likely stabilize over the holidays.

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