LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Inflation, high demand, and low inventory are pushing up housing costs, especially for renters.

Housing market activity has started to cool, but rents remain red hot. As of April, rents are up nearly 17% from a year ago. The increases are tough to take, but landlords say they are just making up for big drops amid COVID.

If your lease is up for renewal, do research to get a sense of the current market. Then talk to your landlord well in advance of the end date. Be gracious and remind them that you love where you live, have been a good payer and want to stick around.

See if you can limit the rental increase by signing a longer lease or if you expect to earn more money later in the year, ask for a delay in the new price. And remember the cost of moving could be higher than the rent increase.

In some areas, you can apply for vouchers or try to enter a lottery for rent-controlled or stabilized units, which are available for those who earn below a certain amount of money.

Different cities set different allowed increases, generally linked to inflation. These ordinances usually apply to apartments, not to single-family homes, condos, co-ops, or subsidized housing of any kind.

To learn more, you should check out the housing authority rules in the town or city where you live.