Concern for renters as average cost rises

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- As inflation rises and gas prices remain sky high, another expense is also climbing: the cost of rent.

Several industry reports say average rent is increasing throughout the Milwaukee area.

One man told us he's getting hit with a big increase, but even the small increases are forcing people to reconsider their options.

James Carpenter said, "They tried to up my rent by $200 and I asked them not to do that. So they upped it by $100."

Lynn Kowalik said her rent is going up $30.

With the price at the pump over $5 a gallon, and inflation soaring at the fastest rate in four decades, every dollar more matters.

Kowalik said, "I had a relative who lived right above me and she ended up moving out because of it."

The state of the economy is also impacting landlords.

When asked about the reason for the increase, Carpenter said, "General economy was the answer I got from my building manager."

General economy may seem vague, but there's some truth to it. Attorney Heiner Giese works with the Apartment Association of Southeast Wisconsin. He said, "Just today I talked to a rather large property owner with some hundreds of units, his labor costs are up 20%, he said."

And a recent increase in Milwaukee's assessment values also means property taxes will likely increase.

Giese says it's unlikely rent will be going back down, especially for tenants staying in the same apartment or rental home.

So Lynn is looking to leave when her lease runs out in a year. Hopefully, she says, she'll buy a home. "It's not worth it. I mean, I live in a good area, but it's really not worth paying more money for where I'm staying."

But the good news is there is seemingly no shortage of potential renters, as one landlord told Giese. He "has 30 interested people, ultimately has ten people who want to come look at the apartment. He has no trouble renting it."

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