It’s not just home prices soaring, rents are going up too this year. But now, we are hearing from a landlord, as to some of the reasons why.

Amanda Barger was evicted earlier this year after she was unable to pay her rising rent at her mobile home. “I know this is a business, but they could have a little kindness,” Barger said.

Barbara Hill-Kelley’s rent was raised over $100 a month. “$117 to be exact. Per month,” Hill-Kelley said.

Stories like this can make landlords look like the boogeyman. But several have said it’s been a difficult year, with rising water ill and property taxes, and tenants missing payments. “We struggled along with everyone else in the pandemic,” landlord Deborah Collins said. She manages 25 apartments and rental homes. She says many landlords lost income last year.

“We canceled all late fees for the year, we worked on payment plans for any residents that were behind,” Collins said. The eviction moratorium, she says, meant they had to allow tenants to go months without paying rent. “A lot of housing providers are trying to recoup those losses, and are doing it with a rental price hike,” Collins said.

Deborah says most landlords are just trying to make themselves whole again and are not price gouging. Of course, that’s little consolation to people like Barbara who are struggling to accept a rent hike that could force her to move.

Deborah’s advice to tenants, be kind and try to negotiate a rent hike. She says most landlords would rather keep a good tenant, then find a new one. As always, don’t waste your money.