EL PASO, Texas -- Rent prices are on the rise in El Paso, but they aren't just increasing in the Borderland. According to Scott Lynch, who is the Executive Director of the El Paso Apartment Association, he estimates there's been an 11% rent increase throughout the United States. In a typical year with rent increases, rent prices would only rise at a 3-5% margin.
The national average for rent for 2021 was about $1,546 a month for an apartment. In El Paso, the average rent is about $923 a month, Lynch told ABC-7.
Lynch broke down rent increases in El Paso into three main factors. The first factor is increasing operation costs. An increase in property taxes, insurance premiums and maintenance fees are aspects of the rent increases. Another is based on the housing market throughout the region. Lastly, the pandemic is to blame for the increases. Construction of new apartments has been delayed due to costs and supply chain issues, in addition to young people moving back home during the pandemic.
In the state of Texas, there is no existing cap to limit rent price increases. The only way there would be a cap put in place is under a state disaster declaration. "If there was a state-declared disaster, and the governor consents, then there can be some rent control measures put in place but that's not the case right now and even at the height of the pandemic that was not the case," Lynch said.
Ultimately, Lynch offered these bits of advice for renters who are looking to live in apartments:
- Avoid having month-to-month leases, and instead get a 12 month lease.
- Communicate with property management to be proactive when asking if there will be a rent increase with the new lease.
- Affordable housing is an option. Federally subsidized housing that takes into account the amount of money you make might be a good option for you.
Lynch also emphasized the importance of voting. "I don't think that a lot of people who are renting realize that these issues with property taxes, or franchise taxes and all these other fees that are placed on multi-family properties, and commercial properties, they do get passed on to the tenant so it is important for them to get involved and voice their opinion through the voting process."