I live in a rent controlled area where you are only allowed to increase rent 1.5% per year. To increase the rent more than that requires an application and a hearing to determine how much more you can raise it; none of which can be done until you actually own the property and have done the renovations (and they are very strict about it). This makes it very difficult to plan a BRRRR as I do not know how much they will allow my rents to raise ahead of time.

I have gotten around this a few times so far by buying vacant duplexes or else turning single families into rental and riding the appreciation wave that's hit the area the last year. I was able to build up a fair bit of equity in my first 6 places in the last year but it's looking as though the market is starting to mellow out and duplicating that will be difficult without being able to change rents.

What strategies have been most effective in rent controlled areas?