Renter pretends to be new tenant after apartment raises rent by $500

@oranotrita/Tiktok Andrii Yalanskyi/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Went undercover today’: Renter pretends to be new tenant after apartment raises rent by $500

'Life is getting too expensive to even exist at this point.'


Tiffanie Drayton


Posted on Feb 26, 2024   Updated on Feb 26, 2024, 3:50 pm CST

One woman went undercover to find out whether she was targeted by her landlord for a rent increase as a long-term tenant.

In a viral TikTok video that has racked up over 459,000 views and thousands of likes, user Ora Hardest (@oranotrita) called the landlord pretending to be a new renter to find out the going rates for apartments in her building.

“Calling my landlord to see if rent increased for everyone or just me as al long-term tenant,” text overlaid on the clip read.

In the video, the woman records herself as she contacts the building to inquire about the cost of a rental.

“Yeah, I was just wondering if you had any two-bedroom apartments available?” she asked when a woman answered the call.

“Yes ma’am, we have some ready for move-in as early as Monday,” the woman responds.

“All right, and how much does this go for?” Ora asks.

@oranotrita Replying to @🥸 went undercover today to see why my rent went up from $1300 to $1800. Life is getting too expensive to even exist at this point. #housingcrisis #apartmentrent #callingmylanlord #rentincrease #economycrisis #journalism #thecostofliving #housingmarket2024 #apartmentliving ♬ original sound – Ora Hardesty

The woman explains that a two-bedroom rental would cost between $1,525 to $1,875 per month. However, that answer confused the TikToker, who follows up with yet another question.

“How does it go from 15 to 18 hundred?” she asks.

The agent explains the price depends on what “phase” a renter applied for. The renter clarifies that phase refers to whether the apartment is a new or older model.

Ultimately, she was able to conclude that rent prices were raised for everyone but still complained that the cost of living is simply unlivable these days.

“Now I know that it’s raised for everyone, but that’s ridiculous,” she says. “That is way too much.”

According to the caption on the TikToker’s video, her rent was set to increase by $500, from $1,300 to $1800.

“Life is getting too expensive to even exist at this point,” she laments.

In the comments section, some TikTok users agreed.

“And wages don’t balance out!!!!” user @papanottage2.0 wrote. “It’s insane!”

“Honestly it’s everywhere,” another user added. “Every year our rent goes up. It doesn’t seem to matter if we move or stay. So we just weigh pros vs cons to see if it’s worth it to move or not.”

Others noted that prices elsewhere are even higher.

“Those are so cheap! 1500 for a 2 bed?! I’m paying $2k for a one,” another user said.

“$1800 for a two bed is kinda a steal though … I was paying $2200 in Virginia Beach,” user @swagalicioussam added.

According to Newsweek, rent prices have plateaued and began a downward trend since reaching a peak in August of 2022. A survey also found that fewer landlords planned to hike up prices, though more than half still intended to increase rates this year.

The Daily Dot reached out to Ora Hardest via email for comment.

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*First Published: Feb 26, 2024, 10:00 pm CST