Higher RentsAlex Hagan | 10/9/2012
Bismarck may not be booming like western North Dakota, but residents are paying higher rents.
"When I signed my lease, they signed me at 425 a month and then a year later it increased to 440 a month," said Bismarck resident Rick Pomerenke.
Bismarck Housing Authority employees say rent increases have varied from $25 to $500. For low income housing, that`s a problem.
"The rents going up, a lot of the apartments don`t qualify for our program because we have limits as to how much the tenant can rent them for," said Burleigh County Housing Authority Executive Director Dwight Barden.
That means some people could be without a place to live depending on their fixed income.
"We are seeing situations where a landlord will give a notice to a tenant that they`re not going to renew a lease because of increasing rent," Barden said.
Kirkwood Park Apartments uses a month to month lease agreement system. Despite the chance to raise rates every month, property managers try to make an increase once a year.
"We raise our rent once a year, and it`s the same time every year because we don`t want surprises for anybody," said office manager Brenda Strand.
Despite more new units being built in town, the occupancy rate isn`t budging from 99.5 percent.
"Until there are new units brought online, so the availability is there, rents will more than likely continue to increase," Barden said.
"Honestly, I see my rent raising. Just a few months where my lease is up for this year another 20,25 more likely 30,35," Pomerenke said.
Bismarck isn`t in the heart of oil country, but it seems the Capital City is becoming involved in the housing crunch.
If the tenant has a month-to-month lease, the landlord may raise the rent by any amount by providing written notice at least 30 days in advance. The tenant then can give a 25 day notice to terminate the lease at the end of the month.