Dallas rental market has become a battlefield

Rent hikes, red tape and double deposits abound in one of the country’s most booming housing markets


With home prices on the rise and a shrinking supply, Dallas-Fort Worth’s market has become highly competitive for transplants and locals alike, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The influx of families and businesses relocating to the state has created strong housing market demand, both in buying and renting homes, Clare Losey, a housing affordability analyst at Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Research Center, told DMN.

In 2019, Texas ranked second in relocations with 582,000 people moving to the state, largely from California, according to the most recent Texas Relocation Report.

Favio Núñez moved to North Texas from Stockton, California after his wife accepted a job offer from an insurance company. Tired of the cost of living on the West Coast, the couple began looking for a rental as they thought it would allow them to buy a home in the near future.

“We know so many people who are moving because it’s cheaper and we thought that finding a house to rent would be very easy and much cheaper than in California. But the reality is that we have been looking for four months and nothing,” Núñez told DMN.

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Due to the region’s growth and the need for more workers, some companies are hiring personnel from other countries with work visas. These workers can have an even harder time finding a house to rent since they don’t have a credit history in the United States.

With no credit history in the U.S. and her husband’s new social security card yet to arrive, Verónica Villaseñor and her family can’t apply for an apartment at all.

“Nobody told us it was going to be this difficult. We had been told we would probably have to give double the deposit and a month or two in advance, but we still haven’t been able to find a place,” Villaseñor told DMN.

Transplants aren’t the only ones struggling. For the Rivera family, who have lived in Dallas-Fort Worth for more than four years, their rent increased by more than 70 percent last September. Due to their inmigration status and only their father having an Individual Tax I.D. Number, the Riveras did not have a lease and couldn’t do anything to avoid a hike in their rent. Rather than subdivide the house, the family scrambled to find somewhere to move.

“I began to search like crazy, I came across many Facebook ads in different groups, but they only scam people. Hundreds of people advertise the same house and ask for a deposit before even seeing the house first, and when you look for it on Zillow or other official sites, it turns out the house is already sold or is not even for rent,” said Bianca Rivera.

Rent increases have pushed more and more families to live in shared spaces, especially among the Hispanic community. The demand for rental housing will not slow down especially in North Texas, as more people and companies decide to make the area their home, says Losey.

[DMN] – Maddy Sperling