Business

A TikToker in Texas created a video about an email she got that started with ‘Congratulations!’ — and then hiked her monthly rent by $2,500

austin texas
Austin, Texas, highway and buildings.

  • A Texas -based TikToker posted a video that apparently shows her rent rising by $2,478, The Daily Dot reported Friday.
  • The creator, Katelyn Fletcher, used a TikTok audio where someone asks “Are you okay?” and the person responds, “No.” 
  • Rents in Austin, even more so than the rest of the country, have been skyrocketing. 

For Katelyn Fletcher, it wasn’t the fun kind of “congratulations” email, according to a Friday story from The Daily Dot

In a TikTok video posted last week, Fletcher referenced an email that portended an apparently enormous rent increase. 

The email in her video appears to show someone congratulating her. Then, Fletcher labeled what she said is her current rent, $2,200, and then showed another number, which she said would be the new price if she re-signs the lease: $4,678 per month.

That would be an increase of $2,478, or of 112.6%. 

Fletcher set the TikTok to an audio apparently from American Idol audio where a judge asks, “Are you okay?” and the performer responds, “No.” 

Fletcher, an online creator and 25-year-old cofounder of marketing firm Klearcut Media, according to her Instagram bio, responded to a request for an interview but did not immediately respond to follow-up questions. (Fletcher also goes by Katelyn Nassar online, which appears to be her married name, per a Zola gift registry.)

But Fletcher likely isn’t the only Austinite hit with an enormous rent increase. 

From January 2021 to January 2022, Austin’s average rent increased 35%, more than the increase at the national level, (15.2%) per Redfin data, KVUE reported.

Still, the average rent for Austin for January 2022 was $2,245—much closer to Fletcher’s apparent original rent than the new number. 

Austin has been a hot destination for California-disaffected tech bros, like Elon Musk, Insider has reported, as well as pandemic-inspired relocators, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

One startup in the area even offers micro homes, which Insider toured. Aside from rent, Austin has also seen home-selling prices in flame, Insider has reported: The average home price went up year over year by $116,000 in January 2022. 

And, as The Daily Dot story notes, Texas does not have any laws on the books related to rent increases, per the Austin Tenants Council and McCaw Property Management, so landlords can raise rent willy-nilly, as long as the lease has expired. 

Commenters on Fletcher’s TikTok video brought up rent protection, too. 

One person noted Oregon’s law on the issue, saying that landlords cannot raise rent on existing tenants by more than 7% plus the previous year’s consumer price index (CPI), per the Oregon State Bar website

The CPI measures a city dweller’s “market basket” of goods and services, which rose 8.5% over the last 12 months as of March 2022

California also has a law limiting rent increases, and local governments passed more laws for tenant protection in the wake of the pandemic, according to CNBC

“God I wish I lived somewhere with renter’s rights,” another user commented.

Another asked if it was a typo. “I literally emailed them asking if it was a typo,” Fletcher said. 

To another person who asked if it was true, “It’s real I can confirm,” she wrote. 

Rent nationwide has gone up year-over-year “staggering,” 16.3% per data from Apartment List released in late April, and renters are losing hope they could own a home, Insider has previously reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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