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Renters’ Guide to Gentrification: What You Need to Know

Two Buildings, One Exterior is Renovated and the Other in DisrepairIf you’re a renter, the likelihood is that you’ve heard about gentrification and the ways it can affect your life. But what is gentrification, in particular? What do renters need to know about it? In this blog post, we will extensively touch on the basics of gentrification and how it affects renters differently from homeowners. We’ll supplementarily give helpful counsel for renters dealing with rising rents or being displaced by gentrification.

Gentrification Defined

Gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a neighborhood, oftentimes one that has been in decline, and making it more captivating to higher-income residents. Gentrification can take effect right away or slowly, but almost always it raises complex social issues. The reason is that the gentrification of a neighborhood can affect rising property values and rents, as well as an influx of new businesses and amenities. Even while these changes can be positive, a few negative concerns go along with them.

For instance, gentrification’s benefits include reducing crime and increasing investment in neglected areas. Homeowners may be surprised to see increased property values and new or countless different people moving into the area. For renters, moving into a newly gentrified area could see benefits from being part of a community undergoing rapid change and growth, which can feel thrilling. Renters can also oftentimes find great deals on newly renovated rentals, particularly if the area is just at the onset of gentrification.

But on the flip side, gentrification can also displace long-time residents who can no longer afford the increased rent. Renters may swiftly discover that rising rents have priced them out of an area they’ve lived in for years, which can be taxing to face and deal with. Other prospective disadvantages to gentrification include the loss of community character and the sad feeling that outsiders are taking over a neighborhood.

How Gentrification Affects Renters Differently from Homeowners

Renters are specifically wide open to displacement from gentrification given that they don’t have the same protections as homeowners. For a case in point, landlords can raise rents to what the current market will dictate; these increases can be huge if the market is very good. And if you’re renting from a landlord who chooses to sell the property, you could especially be urged to move. In contrast, gentrification has a very minimal effect on homeowners, who are less likely to move out of gentrifying areas. Property owners mostly stand to benefit the most from the gentrification process.

Tips for Renters Facing Gentrification

If you’re a renter in a neighborhood that is gentrifying, there are countless things you can accomplish to try to keep staying in your home. Initially, get to know your rights as a tenant, and ascertain you’re in the know on all the latest laws and regulations. You should additionally try to build relationships with your landlord or Spring property manager, so they are more likely to work with you if rent increases grow to be a concern. Furthermore, be willing to advocate for yourself and other tenants in your neighborhood if you realize signs of displacement (such as evictions or rent hikes).

Gentrification is a complex issue, and it’s one that renters need to take into account. If you’re suffering from rising rents or the threat of displacement, bear in mind that you’re not alone, and quite a lot of people and organizations are willing to help you.


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