YAKIMA, Wash. - Yakima County has had the highest rent increase in all of Washington state.
Pablo Perez can relax now, but finding his bachelor pad wasn't easy.
"I did a lot of shopping around, Craig's List, driving around looking for places for rent," Pablo Perez said.
He eventually settled here in Yakima's Lake Aspen Apartments, but it wasn't long before that monthly chunk of change started breaking the bank.
"I'm going to work full time, starting school full time and it's a lot on my plate," Perez said.
KIMA learned you and people like Pablo saw a huge increase this year in what you're paying for monthly rent.
An average one bedroom apartment in Yakima will run you about 530 dollars.
Two bedroom places are just over 600.
That's up 7.2 percent from just last year, increasing about 40 dollars a month.
In a year, that's about 500 dollars more coming out of your pocket.
Roger Wilson is a landlord to dozens of tenants here in Yakima County. He says it's a numbers game.
"we've had a lower supply of rental houses, so the rental rates go up," Wilson said.
Whether your rent is up or down usually depends on supply and demand. But one thing landlords and renters didn't expect, was the new utility tax in Yakima beginning at the first of the year.
"Those landlords paying utility bills will probably increase rates again because the city has decided to raise utility rates," Wilson said.
Wilson says his renters *will see a hiked rate after the first of the year.
"I either have to live with less income or I raise the rent," Wilson said.
Just one more effect of tough economic times and one more worry for renters like Pablo.
Yakima County has the smallest unit size on average than any other county in the state.