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Americans are facing soaring rental prices

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 8:41 AM EDT
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(CNN) - Americans already feeling the sting of inflation now have to deal with skyrocketing rental prices.

Prices have increased 20% from just two years ago, and it is forcing some people to leave their homes.

Laura Guilmain and her daughter, Karson, have 30 days to find a new home.

Guilmain said she has looked into thousands of properties and still cannot find an affordable one.

For three years, she has been paying $2,100 a month for a three-bedroom residence in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Last month, she got a letter from her landlord that said her new rent would be $3,200 a month. An attorney for her landlord said that rising property taxes and mortgage rates are to blame.

“I freaked out. We can’t afford it. We can’t do it,” Guilmain said.

There is a housing affordability crisis in the U.S. With home prices sky high, Americans are being forced into a competitive rental market.

Guilmain is a single mother and disabled veteran. She is reliant on rental assistance from Housing and Urban Development. She said she already had fewer options, but now the landlords looking to capitalize on rising rents are less willing to accept the strict guidelines of her rental voucher.

Guilmain said that without the rental assistance, she would be “homeless.”

Rents are rising across the country and are up nearly 20% in two years. In cities like Memphis, Tampa and Riverside, California, prices are up nearly 40%. The Miami area is up 58%.

“When there’s a hurricane, it’s illegal for gas stations to jack up the prices. Why is there not a cap in the state of Florida?” Guilmain said.

In Florida, it is illegal to impose rent controls.

Florida renter Sara Espinoza said it gives her “a lot of anxiety.” She is facing a 106% increase in her rent in Coral Gables, Florida.

For 22 years, she has lived in a three-bedroom home. She raised her son there.

The $1,700 she pays in rent is below market value, but the $3,500 that her new landlord is charging is out of her budget.

“It’s not reasonable at all. I guess right now, everybody’s just price-gouging because people need somewhere to live,” Espinoza said.

She set a new budget of $2,800 and found an apartment right next door. It is smaller and over her budget by $400.

“I just think it’s very unfair. It makes me upset,” she said.

Guilmain’s search for a new home for her and her daughter continues with no prospects in sight.

The city of Miami just passed a new law that requires landlords give tenants a 60-day notice if they plan to raise the rent more than 5%. While that gives people more time, it still does not help them find an affordable place to live.

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