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Questions and Professional Answers

Questions and Professional Answers

  • Rental Increase

    My landlord / owner wants to increase my rent. This due to exterior improvments done to the apartment building (no internal). He initially sent a letter to me stating that he will increase our rent at some point. He did not specify a specific amount or time when this increase would take place. I don't mind paying the added rent. It just that he just told me in person that we fogott to pay the increase. I found this odd. If I'm not misstaken, he needs to put increase, new rent amount including increase, date when it will take affacet plus what increase is actually for in writing, correct?
    • Re: Rental Increase

      You don't give me enough facts to answer your question with any reasonable certainty.How long have you lived there?. How much were you paying? What is the increase?Yes, it should be in writing. Enclosed is a web page covering your questions., there is a question of whether you live in a rent controlled area.If you need more help, feel free to e-mail, or call, my office.

      Robert L. Bennett
      Law offices of Robert L. Bennett
      2117 N. Baker St.
      Bakersfield, CA 93305
  • rent increase notification

    Hello: I have a house that I rent out. The current tendant in the house has been there for about 9 years without an rent increase, and signed a lease on move in. However the lease has never been updated. My expenses are increasing, and I would like to increase the rent. The renter rents month to month basis and no changes to the lease have been made over the past 9 years. I'm currently looking for a way to raise the rent. Is there software I can use to do this purpose that would meet my needs and legal needs? I know that you are only supposed to raise the rent a certain amount and over a certain period of time. What are the rules and legal rights in rent increase and how would I do it? Are there forms I can download or use or software to purchase to help manage the issues ( rent increase and the others that arrise)?How do I figure out what I can and cannot do according to the law of CA? Questions: What does the letter of rent increase need to include or say? What should the letter not say or include? What is the percentage of increase that I can increase the rent? How much notice do I have to give the renter? How do I notify the renter? What does the letter have to say and what can I not say? Thanks.
    • Re: rent increase notification

      In further response, you might want to look at California Civil Code section 827. It has to be at least 30 days (if by mail, 35 days). If the increase is over 10 percent, it must be 60 days (if by mail, 65 days). If it's Section 8, it's 90 days (plus 5 more for mail).

      Robert F. Cohen
      Law Office of Robert F. Cohen
      P.O. Box 15896
      San Francisco, CA 94115-0896
    • Re: rent increase notification

      It depends on whether the property is in a rent stabilization area. Since the rental is now month-to-month, if not rent stabilized, you can raise it to the extent that is reasonable. If it is rent stabilized, then check with your city/county housing department. Ideally, a landlord should give the tenant at least 30 days' written notice before the next rent check is due. Keep a copy of the notice. If there are any other changes, such as the tenant has to pay the water or electric bill, gardener, etc., that also should be included. Don't be surprised if the tenant calls, angry, etc., and threatens to move. Certainly, if rents in the area are higher than the tenant will be paying and there are willing potential tenants at an even higher rent, then the tenant will have a choice to make.

      Robert F. Cohen
      Law Office of Robert F. Cohen
      P.O. Box 15896
      San Francisco, CA 94115-0896
  • Rent increase not in a timely matter.

    How many days is a landlord required by law to give his tenants notice of an increase in rent, and is there a limit of any kind as to how much the rent can be increased? I received a certified mail letter today (2-25-06) that is dated 2-20-06 of a rent increase which is to take effect on 4-01-06. Is this legal or must I have at least 60 days notice prior to the increase?
    • Re: Rent increase not in a timely matter.

      For a month to month tenancy, a landlord may raise rent upon providing 30 day notice so long as that increase is 10% or less of the rent charged at any time during the previous 12 months. If the rent increase is greater than 10%, a landlord must give 60 days notice. Rent control districts will have additional limitations.

      Ryan Carrere
      Roni Lynn Deutch, A Professional Tax Corp.
      4815 Watt Avenue
      North Highlands, CA 95660
    • Re: Rent increase not in a timely matter.

      Unless your are subject to local rent control laws, 30 days is sufficient to increase the rent on a month-to-month lease. And there is no limitation on the amount of the increase unless a local rent control ordinance applies.

      Carl Starrett
      Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II
      1941-C Friendship Drive
      El Cajon, CA 92020-1144
  • Rent Increase

    I live in the San Bernardino county of California. Is there a limit/cap or % that a landlord can increase your rent to? And also is there an Intent to increase rent notice time frame? I just received notice of a $500 increase. Please advise.
    • Re: Rent Increase

      Check with local authorities, as to whether there are rent control ordinances, but I do not believe any exist in San Bernardino county. Landlord can increase rent with no limit, i.e. ceiling, subject to proper notice. Law is simple: under 10% increase requires 30 days notice; over 10% in a 12 month period requires 60 days' notice. I am assuming the increase was at the end of a lease.

      Robert L. Bennett
      Law offices of Robert L. Bennett
      2117 N. Baker St.
      Bakersfield, CA 93305
  • Rent increase

    Our landlord has provided written notice that another party is interested in renting our house(with improvements) for $550. These improvements were to install central air and a new furnace. However if we wished to remain he would make the improvements and increase our rent from $400 to $500. He wants us to sign a new lease by June 1 and start new rent on July 1. Is there a limit to the amount he can increase rent? Is there any legal way to stay without paying the increase and if so, how long?
    • Re: Rent increase

      I would need answers to a couple of questions before I can answer your question. Do you have a written lease? If so, what is the term (when does it start and end)? Where is the rental property located? Some jurisdictions have certain kinds of rent control. If you don't have a written lease and there is no municipal rent control, then, with 30 days notice, the landlord can increase the rent to any amount he or she desires.

      Thomas Moens
      Moens Law Offices, Chartered
      1523 52nd Avenue
      Moline, IL 61265
  • Rent Increase

    Is there a limit on how much you can increase the rent on a one family house in New York City. The rent has not been increased in 6 years and would we like to increase it to the market rate, which would be from $1,200 to $1,800?
    • Re: Rent Increase

      Assuming that a written lease is not in effect, and the tenants are month to month, a full month notice must be served on the tenants giving notice for the increase in the rent for the following month.If a written lease exists, the parties must follow the terms of the lease.Mike.

      Michael Markowitz
      Michael A. Markowitz, PC
      1553 Broadway
      Hewlett, NY 11557
  • Proposed rent increase

    Improvements are necessary on property I've inherited, such as painting, carpet, etc. as I plan to sell the property within 6 mo's to a year. I signed an agreement with the Housing Authority, who pays a portion of the tenant's rent, when I first inherited the property, that I would not go up on the rent, however, a $150/mo. rent increase is necessary to prepare the property for eventual sale, besides the tenant is paying $200 below market rent. A term of the agreement allows me to increase the rent based on improvements, however, I'm not sure how to "word" the notice to increase. I would appreciate any assistance you could give me with the wording. Thanks!
    • Re: Proposed rent increase

      You definitely need to contact an attorney in this matter. It appears that you have an agreement with a government agency to provide low income housing. The rules and requirements for this type of housing is a legal mine field. If the rent increase is not properly noticed you could be liable for severe monetary penalties, inaddition to having to refund the over payment of rent.

      Lyle Johnson
      Lyle W. Johnson Attorney at Law
      152 N. Third Street, Suite 510
      San Jose, CA 95112
    • Re: Proposed rent increase

      To give you advice you can rely on someone needs to read your agreement.

      Ken Koury
      Kenneth P. Koury, Esq.
      22425 Ventura Blvd., #286
      Woodland Hills, CA 91364
  • Raising Rent

    My husband and I have signed a two year lease for a specified monthly rate that does not contain a clause stipulating that the landlord reserves the right to increase the rent. After fixing the leaking roof on the rental house, our landlord sent us a statement pertaining to an increase in the rent to begin the following month. Is this legal? Are we obliged to pay the rent increase? What are our rights?
    • Re: Raising Rent

      Without knowing the specifics of your lease agreement, I cannot say whether a rent increase is permitted. Generally, your lease is a contract and you are not obligated to pay more than the amount agreed upon for the time agreed upon. Landlords have a responsibility to keep premises in a habitable condition. Does your lease have any language requiring you to pay for any repairs, etc. Call me if you want to discuss further. 513-563-3003.Disclaimer: this message is not legal advice, and is meant for general information only. No attorney-client relationship has been established. For specific legal advice, a signed agreement is required.

      Rick Sommer
      Law Offices of Rick J. Sommer
      4555 Lake Forest Drive, Suite 650
      Cincinnati, OH 45242-3789
    • Re: Raising Rent

      It is important to look to the lease. That will guide you as to whether the landlord may spontaneously raise the rent. There is no common law rule to my knowledge that permits the landlord to breach the lease and raise the rent. The bottom line is to have an attorney review the lease.

      Gregg Manes
      Gregg A. Manes, Esq.
      333 South Main Street #701
      Akron, OH 44308-
  • rent increase

    I have been living in my current apt for 12 years. I have had few rent increases. However my landlord has raised my rent from $ 585.00 plus utilities up to 750.00 plus utilities with 30 days notice of the increase.. I called my town for info on the legality of this huge increase. THey told me there isn't rent control in my town, Huntington New York. I also just found out that my apt has been illegal for 12 years and my landlord is making it a legal residence. Is this rent increase legal? What can I do legally?Thank you for your assistance.-
    • Re: rent increase

      You appear to be (somewhat) stuck. The apartment can be rented for anything the landlord can negotiate and, if he refuses to accept the rent you offer, he can commence a "holdover" proceeding to have you evicted. Presuming he serves papers properly and brings proof of ownership, the Court will grant a judgment of possession and issue a warrant of eviction. The Court has the authority to stay actual eviction up to 6 months by directing payment of the fair value of your use and occupancy. This is often the last agreed rent but issues of habitability, including the illegality may weigh into the calculation. In NYC the landlord of an illegal apt. would be barred from seeking rent. No such rule exists in Nassau or Suffolk. If you need a better timeframe or other info, I can be reached at 516-780-0270.

      Dan Blumenthal
      Berkman Henoch Peterson & Peddy
      100 Garden City Plaza
      Garden City, NY 11530-2112
  • Rent Increase on a lease

    I have a two year lease agreement with my landlord. I just received a notice of rent increase. Can they increase my rent under a lease. There is nothing allowing that provision in the agreement. My lease clearly states that I will be renting the apt. for a specific amount of money for two years. The increase is to be effective on May 1st, my lease expires on August 31st.
    • Re: Rent Increase on a lease

      The answer to this is going to lie "within the four corners of the document." In other words, the lease agreement, itself, would have to be carefully examined to determine if the landlord has the authority to do this to you. My guess is (and you say there is no such contrary provision) that you contractually obligated yourself to a certain rent, and the landlord agreed to accept that specific rent for the term of the lease. IF that is the case, the property owner would be in breach of the agreement if he demanded an increased rent, and your duty would be to pay only that for which you bargained. I would suggest having the lease looked over by an attorney, who could determine whether there are any "weasel" clauses that allow the landlord to bump it up before the end of the lease term. Such a clause would be rather unusual, though not unheard of, and I think you could identify it pretty readily.

      Rick Williams
      Law Offices of Frederick D. (Rick) Williams, Chtd.
      5515 Wedekind Rd
      Sparks, NV 89431-1147
    • Re: Rent Increase on a lease

      No, he/they can't raise your rent. This happened to me at my law office. When I pointed it out to the manager, she admitted it was a mistake and was very apologetic. In your case it may also be a mistake if the property you're in has a high proportion of month-to-month tenants. You should politely but firmly point out to your landlord that you have a fixed-rental lease and you assume a mistake has been made. If he claims it's not a mistake, insist on an explanation. If you don't agree with the explanation, get it in writing so if you're sued in small-claims court you have something to show the judge. A demand for a written explanation will also force the landlord to take a close look at his own position.

      Bryan Whipple
      Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
      P O Box 318
      Tomales, CA 94971-0318
    • Re: Rent Increase on a lease

      Dear Inquirer:Nothing herein shall create an attorney-client relationship, unless a written retainer agreement is executed by the attorney and client. This communication contains general information only. Nothing herein shall constitute an attorney-client communication nor legal advice. There likely are deadlines and time-limits associated with your case; you should contact an attorney of your choice for legal advice specific to your personal situation, at once.If you haven't already done so, please visit my web site at -- OR The site contains quite a bit of general information about California Family Law, Tenants'Rights, and Juvenile Dependencies, and EDDhearings and appeals, as well as informationabout me (education, experience, et cetera)and my office (location, hours, fees, policies). NOW, IN RESPONSE TO YOUR INQUIRY --One of the most common reasons for entering intoa lease is to have stable (or at least predictable)rent. The answer to your question is in the leaseitself. Read it word by word, or have an attorneyreview it. Then contact the landlord and explainwhy you will be continuing to pay the amount of rentspecified by the lease.Thanks for sharing your interesting inquiry with us on LawGuru, and good luck with your case.

      E. Daniel Bors Jr.
      Attorney & Counselor At Law
      24422 Avenida De La Carlota, Suite 310
      Laguna Hills, CA 92653-3638