With October around the corner, many University of Wisconsin-Madison students are evaluating whether to resign their leases, but with an added wrench thrown in — price increases. Several apartments told residents in recent weeks prices for the next leasing year will be higher, with inflation as a cause.
The Roundhouse apartments informed some residents their rents would be higher in the next leasing term as “costs [are] dramatically rising for everything and everyone,” forcing them to raise rents.
UW student Mallory Auth, whose four-bedroom apartment in the Roundhouse will increase by $255 per month, said the higher prices pushed her not to resign for next year.
“[My roommates and I] were already on the fence about resigning for next year,” Auth said. “But once we got that letter in the [mail] saying the price would increase by $255, that really sealed the deal for us.”
“It's definitely not affordable,” Auth added.
Another Roundhouse resident, Ciboney Reglos said management gave an option for rent credits, but that was the extent of their efforts to mitigate impact on students.
CHT Apartments, which operates the Roundhouse, declined to comment.
Reglos, whose two bedroom apartment will increase by $150 a month, said many of her friends reported higher costs too.
“I've talked to people in Park Place, the James, any of those downtown premium apartments, and this seems to be a really widespread thing,” she added.
Some residents of The Hub, a flagship luxury apartment near campus, reported a 20% increase in their rent for the 2023-24 leasing term.
The Hub’s management team cited inflation as a reason for the soar in rental prices.
“Hub Madison understands and empathizes with the challenges residents are facing with rising rents throughout our area and around the country,” management said in a statement to the Daily Cardinal. “The terms of a lease are for the timeframe specified in a lease and once the lease ends, the new rental rates are determined by the market conditions. There are a variety of factors that determine rental rates including inflation and the costs of goods and services. Residents with questions or concerns are encouraged to reach out to our office.”
District 4 Alder Mike Verveer said he is disturbed by landlords increasing their rental prices. Verveer cites inflation as a reason for the soar in rental rates but believes the reported increases are unreasonable.
“I do hope that landlords are not taking advantage of their tenants and future tenants by proposing outrageous increases a year from now,” Verveer said. “Double-digit rent increases proposed across the board for leases beginning in August 2023 … I think that is really outrageous.”
Verveer wishes the city could do more to regulate rental rates but blames the state legislature for outlawing rent control in the 1970s.
Auth acknowledged inflation was most likely the reason for the increased prices but she said that either way, the nature of Madison's housing market advantaged landlords and allowed them to fix prices at the expense of students.
“I think that college towns in general, [and college apartment buildings have] an advantage of being able to charge pretty much whatever price they want, because they know that students need to find housing,” Auth said.
Gavin Escott is a photographer and staff writer for multiple desks at The Daily Cardinal, focusing on city and state news. Follow him on Twitter at @gav_escott.