Because of overpopulation in cities, many landlords are raising rent prices to historically high numbers simply because they can. In bigger cities where there is no rent control mechanism in place, this has been driving tenants to take part in rent strikes. This is often seen as a tenant’s last option to not get priced out, because they risk eviction. The idea behind a rent strike is for a group of tenants in a building or a home-share to withhold rent, forcing the landlord to either give in and negotiate the rent rate or individually evict each one of the participating tenants, which is a hassle for them and often very costly.
But, in order for this strategy to even have a chance at success, you need an entire complex to participate. The goal is to make it harder for the landlord to start evicting people, so the more people that participate the better. In cases where tenant strikes have been successful, it is often stemming from a “nothing left to lose” mentality. They will not be able to afford the apartment if the rent does increase, so they don’t fear eviction enough to stop them from striking.
Despite the rise in rent strikes, many landlords say they intend to raise rent even more over the course of the next year. Tenants will need to brace themselves for what is to come, and find the best ways to either continue to afford their homes or find ways to negotiate with their landlords.