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Renters’ Guide to Gentrification: What You Need to Know

Two Buildings, One Exterior is Renovated and the Other in DisrepairIf you’re a renter, chances are you’ve heard something in terms of gentrification and the ways it can affect your life. But what is gentrification? What do renters need to know about it? In this blog post, we will speak about the basics of gentrification and how it affects renters differently from homeowners. We’ll also offer helpful tips for renters getting through rising rents or being displaced by gentrification.

Gentrification Defined

Gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a neighborhood, most often one that has been in decline, and making it more enticing to higher-income residents. Gentrification can happen rapidly or slowly, but certainly, it almost always raises complex social issues. This is related to the fact the gentrification of a neighborhood can engender rising property values and rents, as well as an influx of new businesses and amenities. Allowing these changes can be positive, but several troubles do go along with them.

As a sample, gentrification’s benefits include reducing crime and increasing investment in neglected areas. Homeowners may fortunately find increased property values and new or innumerable people moving into the area. For renters, moving into a newly gentrified area could see benefits from being part of a community undergoing rapid change and growth, which can feel invigorating. Renters can also sometimes locate desirable deals on newly renovated rentals, especially if the area is just at the beginning of gentrification.

At the same time, gentrification can also displace long-time residents who can no longer afford the increased rent. Renters may thereupon find that rising rents have priced them out of an area they’ve lived in for years, which can be tedious to deal with. Other probable disadvantages of gentrification pertain to the loss of community character and the bad feeling that outsiders are taking over a neighborhood.

How Gentrification Affects Renters Differently from Homeowners

Renters are exposed to displacement from gentrification owing to the fact they don’t have the same protections as homeowners. Take one example, landlords can raise rents to what the current market will afford; these increases can be quite high if the market is lucrative. And if you’re renting from a landlord who elects to sell the property, you could furthermore be pressed to move. In contrast, gentrification has rather a minimal effect on homeowners, who are less likely to move out of gentrifying areas. Property owners consistently stand to benefit the most from the gentrification process.

Tips for Renters Facing Gentrification

If you’re a renter in a neighborhood that is gentrifying, there are innumerable things you can endeavor to do to try to stay in your home. First off, get to know your rights as a tenant, and establish you’re keeping abreast of all the latest laws and regulations. You should, in addition, try to build relationships with your landlord or Waldorf property manager, so they are more likely to work with you if rent increases grow into a problem. One last thing, arrange to advocate for yourself and other tenants in your neighborhood if you perceive signs of displacement (such as evictions or rent hikes).

Gentrification is a complex issue, and it’s one that renters need to take into consideration and understand. If you’re standing up to rising rents or the threat of displacement, take into account that you’re not alone, and quite a few people and organizations can help.


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