If you've been trying to find an affordable rental property in the Bozeman area, they aren't easy to come by. If you do find one, you have to compete with a lot of other people with hopes of renting the same place.

In addition to the lack of rental inventory in Bozeman, rental prices are on the rise. I recently had a conversation with a coworker about his rental struggles in Bozeman. He told me that the apartment complex where he lived was increasing the rent by $400 a month. He couldn't afford the increase in rent, so he started looking for another place to live. Fortunately, he was able to find a room to rent in a friend's house for $800/month. That's right! $800 for a room in a house.

The conversation got me thinking. As a homeowner, the cost of living in Gallatin County has increased. Property taxes and insurance rates have gone up, as well as monthly bills. I currently rent out a room at my house in Manhattan. My tenant has lived there for over 2 years, and he's been great. However, my monthly expenses have increased since he first moved in. I won't disclose how much I charge for rent, but it is considerably cheap when compared to rental prices in the area.

I made the tough decision to raise the rent in the near future. The increase isn't anything drastic, only $80/month. I personally have a hard time with these kinds of decisions. I want to be a good person, but also want to be smart financially. I keep asking myself "Is it selfish to raise the rent, or am I making the right decision financially?"

The cost of owning a home in the Bozeman area has increased. Who should be responsible for the additional expense? The homeowner or the renter?

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