24-year-old sparks debate with video claiming her rent is going up $2,200: ‘This has to be a prank’

·2 min read

A TikToker living in Austin, Texas, is speaking out against her allegedly severe rent increase.

In a video posted last week, 24-year-old Jenna Palek (@jennapalek) claimed her rent would be going up over $2,000 if she declined her apartment’s early renewal deal.

“When your rent increases by $2250 HAHA,” she wrote in her caption. “Wheres ashton kutcher this has to be a prank.”

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Her clip highlights an ongoing nationwide issue, which has also been playing out on TikTok. Rent prices have spiked over the last year-plus, with the national median rent hitting $1,876 in June.

And some cities have seen worse increases than others. Austin has experienced the highest spike over the last year, with the cost of a one-bedroom rental increasing by 108%, to a whopping $3,257.

TikTokers in Austin and New York — the city with the fourth-largest rent increase — have used the app to call out landlords, leasing companies and the housing market overall.

In one clip, an Austin resident claimed her rent “doubled” when she renewed her lease. In another, a New Yorker said she was moving out of the city after her rent increased by over $700.

Palek’s issue was similar, but with an added wrinkle. In her clip, she read an alleged letter from her leasing company.

According to Palek, the company offered her an “early bird renewal” that would reduce her rent increase. The problem, she said, is that she was given only 15 days to decide whether she’d take that deal or move elsewhere.

Palek claimed her rent would increase by over $500 even if she took the deal. If she waited longer, she’d face an alleged hike of $2,250.

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“If I am renewing, my rent will go up to $5,481,” she said. “$5,481 for an 810-square-foot apartment, one bedroom, that is completely surrounded by construction. They’re kidding, right?”

TikTokers had some extreme reactions to the post.

“Girl this has me shook and I thought our rent was a lot for a 3 bedroom house in LA,” one user wrote.

“WHAT. In Texas?!! I’m never complaining about my CA rent again. I’m so sorry,” another added.

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