Runaway Rents: The Law Is Failing Renters

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Sturm College of Law


Renters, Housing shortage, Rent, Homeownership


Times are tough for renters. More than a third of American households rent their homes. Housing shortages along with rising mortgage rates mean many people have found themselves locked out of homeownership. At the same time, rents have skyrocketed around the country, and not just in expensive coastal cities. Renters in areas that have long been seen as affordable like the Sunbelt and Mountain West are also facing massive increases in housing costs. In Austin, rents are up 40 percent year-over-year. In Orlando, 30 percent. In Denver, 29 percent. In Phoenix, 25 percent. In Dallas, 24 percent. In Atlanta, 20 percent. If mortgage payments increased by those amounts, one can imagine waves of foreclosures, protests, and non-stop calls to congressional representatives. But existing homeowners aren’t seeing those same increases. Why do homeowners get so much more stability and protection than renters when it comes to housing costs?

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