Residents Say There Are No Affordable Rentals In South Jersey
Let me be the first to say that trying to find a home or an apartment is HARD. Honestly, you might as well have gone and gotten yourself another job because that's exactly what it feels like. House hunting is hard work. Hard stop. Period.
Sure, trying to buy a house always comes with stressors, but now, renters are experiencing a similar kind of stress here in the South Jersey region. Truth be told, it's actually being felt throughout all of NJ, but especially in Atlantic County.
It's never been too hard to find a place to rent, but now with the state of the market, it seems that people are hard-pressed for somewhere affordable to rent now more than ever. Let's get real for a second. Cost of living is only going up and wage increases aren't exactly being handed out like breath mints here in the Garden State. People have claimed that they're basically getting price-gouged out of their homes by landlords.
That's not to say, however, that landlords don't have their own issues to deal with when it comes to tenants, of course they do. But right now, we're talking about the people that are good to the properties in which they live that are being forced out by landlords wanting to raise the rent so high that the current tenants just can't afford to stay.
Is that even legal?
Here in New Jersey, there is no law currently that prevents landlords from raising the rent to what they want to charge. Different towns have different laws, though. So, even though the state itself doesn't have anything stopping the landlords from raising the rent 5+%, there are certainly some municipalities within the state that do.
Even if they do, that doesn't mean there's anything decent available under $1300-$1500. Obviously, that depends on what you're looking for. Still, the most basic apartments here in Atlantic County are going for over $1200 for a one-bedroom. Depending on your standards and situation, you'll be hard-pressed to find somewhere under $1500.
So, what can be done about it?
For one, you might want to look into getting help from a realtor. They have access to rental listings not on sites like Zillow or Trulia. Keep an eye out on Facebook Marketplace every single day. It's hard work, but hopefully, there is a property out there that fits within your budget.
This market better give soon or else more and more people will find themselves in this same boat.