(WHTM) — Rent is increasing for millions of people after a two-year break during the pandemic. Besides moving to a new place, what else can you do?

A mom and her children are desperate for a new place to live after a significant rent hike, which is becoming a growing trend among landlords fixing up their buildings.

Stephanie Blanchard could soon be homeless with her three children after the landlord decided to raise her low-income apartment rent up to “market rate.”

That means a $600 increase in Blanchard’s rent.

Get traffic alerts from the abc27 mobile app for the latest local delays and road closures

“No, I can’t. I’m gonna be honest. I just can’t,” said Blanchard.

Blanchard says every other two-bedroom apartment near her is asking for at least $1,300 a month.

A Redfin survey found that rent has increased an average of 15% nationwide over the last year. If your landlord moves your rent to “market rates,” where there’s new construction or gentrification, it could go up 25% or more.

Fighting a rent hike can be almost impossible because rent is rarely negotiable. Most communities don’t have laws limiting rent hikes either.

“When that lease is over, or if the tenant is on a month-to-month lease, then the landlord only has to give 30 days notice before increasing the rent,” said attorney Nick Dinardo of Legal Aid.

Get severe weather alerts with newsletters and push alerts from the abc27 Weather Team!

Legal Aid suggests that you:

  • Explain why you can’t afford the rent hike
  • Offer to do some work around the complex to keep your rent payments down
  • Finally, ask for a few extra months to find a new place

Blanchard just wants to find an apartment she can afford. “I am basically homeless now,” Blanchard said.

Stay up to date with the latest news with the free abc27 News app for iPhone and Android

Blanchard and many other renters may have to settle for a smaller, more affordable place.