When I moved into my place, I was paying $490 a month, all utilities included for a one bedroom apartment. I only had to pay for cable. I had to ask my landlord for a six month lease; he initially wanted me to sign a year lease, but I said the economy being what it was, I wanted six months and if my job worked out, I would sign on for six months. He agreed to this. He absolutely refused to let me move in unless I signed a lease with him. It was cheapest place I found and actually kind of nice, so I had to take it or not get the job I was offered.
My boyfriend later moved in with me, and when he did, my landlord increased the rent by $250. I didn't think this was a bad thing as I was more worried he'd outright double my rent. So we are paying $740 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
Not long after he moved in, we were both laid off from our jobs. Initially I wasn't worried as I still had money from my unemployment claim at my previous job. But we've been laid off for a while and I can't file a new unemployment claim. So money is getting tight. My landlord has been pretty reasonable and since we have a good record with paying on time and my checks always clear, he said we could just pay what we could afford for this month and August. We paid $700. He's been very nice about letting my boyfriend move in so I've not really protested the price change.
But the whole thing brought up a debate between me and my sister. She says it's not fair that my landlord changed the rent based on the number of people living here. I really didn't think anything of it as my landlord owns the property and it's his building, and he had to cover the increase in utilities for the second person. I don't know how much a second person would increase the utilities. My sister says that over $700 for a one bedroom apartment is in our area is highway robbery no matter what the circumstance or how many people living there. While we're paying a lot, I think the landlord is justified, as much as it's hurting our bank accounts.