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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, you’ve likely heard something relative to gentrification and the ways it can affect your life. But what is gentrification, more importantly? What do renters need to know about it? In this blog post, we will talk about the basics of gentrification and how it affects renters differently from homeowners. We’ll also give simple useful tips for renters facing rising rents or being displaced by gentrification.

Gentrification Defined

Gentrification is the process of renovating and improving a neighborhood, usually one that has been in decline, and making it more appealing to higher-income residents. Gentrification can usually happen quickly or slowly, but whatever the case may be, it almost constantly raises complex social issues. This is because the gentrification of a neighborhood can produce rising property values and rents, as well as an influx of new businesses and amenities. Though conceding these changes can be positive, a lot of shortcomings also go along with them.

For instance, gentrification’s benefits include reducing crime and increasing investment in neglected areas. Homeowners may come across increased property values and new or many 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 stimulating. Renters can also, from time to time, find the best deals on newly renovated rentals, especially if the area is just at the onset of gentrification.

On the contrary, gentrification can also displace long-time residents who can no longer afford the increased rent. Renters may, in no time, realize that rising rents have priced them out of an area they’ve lived in for years, which can be arduous to face with all the other challenges. Other conceivable shortcomings of gentrification include the loss of community character and the feeling that outsiders are taking over a neighborhood.

How Gentrification Affects Renters Differently from Homeowners

Renters are particularly vulnerable to displacement from gentrification considering that they don’t have the same protections as homeowners. For example, landlords can raise rents to what the current market will indeed allow; these increases can be high if the market is doing good. And if you’re renting from a landlord who agrees to sell the property, you could also be pressured to move. In contrast, gentrification has minimal effect on homeowners, who are less likely to move out of gentrifying areas. Property owners, in general, 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 various things you can do to try to continue to occupy your home. First thing, get to know your rights as a tenant and make certain you’re familiar with all the latest laws and regulations. You should as well try to build relationships with your landlord or Morrisville property manager, so they are more likely to work with you if rent increases develop to be a nuisance. Additionally, get prepared to advocate for yourself and other tenants in your neighborhood if you apprehend signs of displacement (such as evictions or rent hikes).

Gentrification is a complex issue, and it’s one that renters need to really know and understand well. If you’re taking on rising rents or the threat of displacement, always remember that you’re not alone, and many people and organizations can come to your aid.


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