The rent is low for Palo Alto. I joke to friends that our approach has been to not contact our landlord at all - if she forgets about us, then she won't remember to raise our rent! Seems that our landlord thinking about us may have caused a rent increase!
Our downstairs neighbors changed about a month ago, and over the past month the landlord has been involved with coordinating repainting the house and repairing the back steps. This week, I had to contact the landlord when a pipe rusted out and we started dripping water onto our downstairs neighbor's yard.
Today, I got an email notifying us of a rent increase of $50/month, effective January first. The rent is still fair, so I have no complaints. But it seems that our stay-out-of-the-landlord's-mind approach had been working!