Woman talking(l+r), Lease Agreement(c)

Casper1774 Studio/Shutterstock @kaitmurray_/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I feel like a massive moron if I pay this’: Woman says her rent on this studio apartment is being raised by $800 a month

'My leasing office chose violence.'


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Feb 21, 2024   Updated on Feb 21, 2024, 5:51 am CST

Kaitlin Murray’s (@kaitmurray_) TikTok video, capturing her exasperation with the escalating rent for her studio apartment in Boston’s Seaport area, has struck a chord with over 2.7 million viewers, encapsulating the palpable affordable housing crisis many young Americans face today. Her candid narrative, peppered with disbelief and frustration, sheds light on the reality of living in one of Boston’s most coveted neighborhoods, juxtaposed against the harsh reality of its cost.

“You know when you’re just down really bad, and then someone comes along and they’re like,” Kaitlin begins, setting the tone for her story of a lease renewal that felt more like a blow than an offer. “My leasing office chose violence,” she remarks, half-jokingly, before revealing the staggering numbers that have defined her living situation over the past years. From an initial rent of $2,600 in 2021 for her 450-square-foot “tiny ass little studio apartment,” to the current renewal quote of “$3,444 a month,” her disbelief is palpable. “I did a quick little girl math on this one,” Kaitlin calculates, comparing her living costs to staying in a $120-a-night hotel every single night for a year.

Kaitlin’s emotional rollercoaster is evident as she grapples with the decision to stay due to friendships and a love for the city or to leave in search of affordability and a new chapter. “I’ve had the time of my life in this building,” she confesses, highlighting the social ties that make the financial strain somewhat bearable. Yet, as the rent increases year after year, she questions the logic behind her decision to stay. “I feel like a massive moron if I pay this,” she admits, revealing the internal conflict many face when balancing the cost of living with personal happiness and community.

Given the personal nature of the story, commenters had advice for her. “I think the rent increase is a blessing in disguise,” one person wrote. “The universe is telling you do something since you are in a weird spot in your life!!”

“Life advice for ya girl- none of those decisions are permanent,” said another commenter. “Have the next year be a ‘test’ era. New apt, new city, new job.” Murray responded, “Wish I could pin this comment!!! I used to be so so good about thinking this way. Thanks for saying this.”

But most commenters could not believe the rent increases. “Increase of $800/mo in a few year span is insanity,” said one person. “$3400 for a 450 sq ft studio????????” said another commenter.

Amid her personal anecdote, Kaitlin touches on broader issues, like the lack of high-paying jobs that would allow millennials to live independently in urban areas. “There’s no jobs that will pay enough for like 28-year-olds to go live alone,” she states, echoing a sentiment felt by many in her generation struggling to find their footing in expensive cities.

Her story also serves as a commentary on the state of affordable housing in Boston and nationwide. With Massachusetts’ ban on rent stabilization and the ongoing debate on rent control measures, Kaitlin’s experience underscores the urgent need for solutions to the housing affordability crisis. Despite Boston’s slight decrease in rent, the year-over-year increase and the city’s high living costs compared to the national average present a daunting reality for residents.

@kaitmurray_ Is anyone else’s rent increasing astronomically? Also 28 is the most confusing age ever #boston #seaport #20s #chicago #cinci #decisions #budgeting #needadvice #newyork #jobsearch ♬ original sound – Kaitlin Murray

Kaitlin’s viral TikTok video is more than just a rant about her lease renewal; it’s a poignant narrative on the challenges of urban living, the quest for affordable housing, and the personal dilemmas faced by young adults navigating their futures in an increasingly unaffordable America.

Her candidness and vulnerability in sharing her story offer a glimpse into the broader societal issue, sparking dialogue and resonating with viewers in similar predicaments.

The Daily Dot contacted Murray for comment.

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2024, 6:15 am CST