Rent rising: Average person is now paying $1,400 a month in Buffalo
According to Zillow, the average rent was more than $1,100 in January of 2020. Last month it was more than $1,400.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tyler Lago was told in May he would have to pay more for his two-bedroom apartment in Tonawanda.
“It was going up to $915 a month from $850. (At my new apartment), I’m paying $875 a month,” Lago said.
So he just moved to this apartment in Kenmore in order to save for a house.
Lago says he’s one of the lucky ones, when apartments are going on the market in a day and aren’t staying there long.
“(When I was searching), they would be gone within hours,” Lago said.
It’s not the case for everyone.
Karla lives in Hamburg and was just notified her family of five has 90 days to search for a new place to live after her landlord decided to sell the house they’ve rented for 11 years.
“The anxiety is very high,” she said. “I’m seeing over $2,000 a month for a full home for rentals, and depending on your price range, your mortgage could be less than that. The rentals are getting ridiculous, and it’s out of hand.”
According to data from Zillow, the average rent Buffalonians paid in January 2020 was $1,135.
Last month it was up to $1,439. That’s a 26 percent increase.
Lago, a former real estate broker, attributes it to inflation and the rising costs landlords must pay for some utilities and maintenance.
PUSH Buffalo, an advocacy group for tenants, says the steep prices for rent can also be attributed to the lack of laws in the state which would protect renters.
“We do call on not only our state elected officials, but our local elected officials and are pushing a Buffalo Tenant Bill of Rights that need to be implemented more locally,” said Teresa Watson, housing justice organizer for PUSH Buffalo.
That bill of rights includes 10 ideas to help renters, including the right to rent control and timely repairs, which Deborah Brenner says would have protected her.
She told her landlord she wouldn’t pay her monthly rent of $720 until they fixed her heat. Instead, a judge made her leave.
“I was given 24 hours to move out. I’m currently homeless,” Brenner said.
She says her old apartment is now listed for more than $1,100 and anything that’s in her budget has a two to three-year waitlist.
“It’s a zoo out there,” Brenner said.