Landlord In Boston Blames Inflation For Raising Rent On A Tiny Apartment By Nearly $2K— 'We Totally Understand If You Don't Want To Renew'

Housing is a human right unless you live in Boston.

woman standing by a window Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Boston, Massachusetts, is home to many distinctly American things: the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, the birth of John F. Kennedy in 1917, and now, it’s known for being one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

An unnamed tenant told a tale of rental woe, posting a message from their landlord on the subreddit r/Renters.

A landlord in Boston blamed inflation for raising rent on a tiny apartment by almost $2,000.

“How are you?” The landlord’s note began before revealing their real reason for reaching out.


“Due to inflation and high-cost structure, we need to raise the rent for your unit to $4,500 for the next lease year,” the landlord wrote.

@gbh Boston is one of the most expensive cities to live in. We asked people living here about how much they pay in rent #Boston #RentPrices #Housing ♬ Rent In Boston - GBH

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“We totally understand if you don’t want to renew because of that,” the landlord continued, asking the tenant to make a decision by the first of the month.

The tenant shared that their apartment is located in the North End of Boston, a historically Italian neighborhood known for its cannoli shops, the Paul Revere House, and being almost entirely unaffordable.

According to Zillow, rent in Boston is 53% higher than the average median.

The tenant rented a 750-square-foot apartment for $2,800 a month until their landlord decided to increase it to $4,500.

woman lying on couch Shvets Production / Pexels


It’s common for landlords to raise rent annually to account for inflation, yet the national average rent increase per year due to inflation comes out to 2 percent to 5 percent, which is significantly lower than what this particular landlord was asking for.

The Boston-based landlord wanted to raise rent by 60 percent, which isn’t based on inflation so much as greed.

With the landlord’s rent hike, the tenant would pay $4,500 a month, which comes out to $54,000 a year.

The median household income in Boston is $86,331. If the tenant earns that amount, their rent would cost over half of their yearly income.

@wired The price of rent increases with #inflation, but sadly, salaries do not increase as quickly. Here’s why: #housing #luxuryhousing #wiredtechsupport #salary ♬ original sound - WIRED.COM

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As a professor of urban planning revealed, the percentage increase in rent between 1995 and 2024 is almost 100 percent, but wages haven't increased nearly as fast.

“A lot of low-cost units are disappearing from the market because they have transitioned to luxury housing; landlords are charging more and more based on upgrades they’ve made,” she explained.

Housing should cost around 30% of a person’s income, but rent increases and wage stagnation have made that math almost impossible.

There’s no legal cap on rent increases in Massachusetts, meaning landlords can raise their rents as often as they want, as long as they provide proper notice.

woman packing boxes Shvets Production / Pexels


Yet Massachusetts didn’t always favor landlords over tenants. Boston and other areas had rent control policies in place until 1994 when the state outlawed them.

According to a study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, there are 22.4 million renters in the U.S. who spend over 30% of their income on rent and utilities.

The study noted that even though rentals are coming down in cost, evictions have gone up, which translates into the highest homelessness numbers on record.


It shouldn’t be so hard or so expensive to exist in Boston or elsewhere. Having a roof over our heads is a human right.

As more people struggle to get their basic needs taken care of, it becomes even more obvious just how dire the U.S. housing market has become and how much change is actually needed. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.