Opinion: Rent In Virginia Is Too Expensive

Matt Lillywhite

It's no secret that many people in Virginia are financially struggling. "Among those whose income falls in the $30,000-to-$100,000 range, 75% say their earnings are falling behind the cost of living," per CNBC.

Household credit card debt is reportedly up 13 percent. Gas, food, and many other things have drastically increased in price over the past year. It's also worth mentioning that many people are worried about losing their jobs in a potential recession.

With rising prices everywhere, many people are wondering how they'll afford basic necessities...

Rent Prices Are Unaffordable.

"There is no state, county or city in the country where a full-time, minimum-wage worker working 40 hours a week can afford a two-bedroom rental," according to a report published by CNN. It's also worth mentioning that Virginia recently saw one of the biggest hikes in rent prices, per Newsweek.

According to Virginia Realtors, the average effective rent per square foot in Northern Virginia increased 13.0 percent in Q1 2022, following an 11.6 percent rise in Q4 2021. The average rent in the Richmond metro market increased 10.7 percent year over year, while the average rent in the Hampton Roads market increased 10.4 percent.

Many People In Virginia Are Struggling To Pay Bills.

"My kids can't leave home in a couple years since they can't afford to live on their own," said a user on Twitter in response to Governor Glen Youngkin. "We can't afford student loans to send them to college. Maybe it's good for big business, but what about regular working people?"

"There are European capitals with less expensive rent than Virginia suburbs," said John Leavitt on Twitter. He's correct. The average cost of rent in Arlington is $2,460 per Rent Cafe. Meanwhile, it costs approximately $1,000 to rent an apartment in downtown Lisbon, Portugal, according to Numbeo.

What Tenants In Virginia Need To Know.

According to Fairfax County, "Virginia does not place any restrictions or ceilings on how much a landlord can charge for rent or how much a landlord may raise rent. Most landlords determine rent based on the current market rate."

The landlord cannot raise the rental price while there is a lease agreement in place until the end of the term. The landlord must also give the tenant written notice if they want to increase the rental rate when the lease expires. Usually, 30 days' notice is needed to notify the tenant before the following rent payment is due.

Rent Prices Need To Go Down.

The minimum wage in Virginia is $11 per hour. That means you have you to work approximately 136 hours per month just to afford an apartment that costs $1,500. But obviously, some people in Virginia pay a lot more in rent than that.

Many working-class families are struggling to survive. Some are even going into debt to make ends meet. "Americans are borrowing more, but a big part of the increased borrowing is attributable to higher prices," said the Federal Reserve.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.

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