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4 years ago
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My landlord is raising my rent by 20%. Is this legal?

I received a notice 90 days before my lease was up saying I could renew my lease with a 20% rent increase. This seems like alot - is it legal for them to raise it this much?
Doug Lewis
Looking to Rent
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4 years ago
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WOW! With the economy currently in the toilet your landlord isn't being very smart about things! There are SO many rentals out there right now - most likely way better deals then what you are currently paying- so, you are probably being given a "gift" from your jackass of a landlord with this increase because now you can give him your "Gift" of a 30 day notice as soon as you find your great new place with a way better price! LOL Best of luck to you!!
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3 years ago
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Ya, the worst thing anyone can be doing right now is renting from another person. Just get yourself some land on lease to own and a portable building with solar panels on it and you'll be good.
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1 year ago
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No really Brittney.... With so many people going into foreclosure there are not a lot of rentals out there. In fact, if you read up, some of the people whose homes have went into foreclosure were due to tenants not paying. There are a lot of renters who have lost their homes, with jacked up credit looking to rent... It looks like the landlord has the upper hand in this economy. Especially the ones who can stand to wait for the right tenant! It takes a lot to cover the cost of homes. If a tenant can not afford the increase he/s should talk to the landlord, if the tenant was a great tenant, I am sure they will not want to lose them.
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4 years ago
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Before a tenant gets an attitude one of the best things to do is ask the landlord why they are increasing the rent. Sometimes the mortgage has increased for them and they cannot afford the payments and they mistakenly think they can increase the rent even though it does not match current renal prices. After you find out you might want to let them know what the competition is and also check your local state rental laws. Since there are so many variables in renting just like buying and selling the best thing to do is communicate. Often times things can be worked out when all of the information is laid out. You never know what someone else is thinking or acting on until you ask.
Good Luck to you!
Lisa Schofield
Real Estate Professional
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3 years ago
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ATTITUDE??????...................THERE WAS NOTHING STATING OF AND ATTITUDE
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4 years ago
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I hate to say this but "It depends". As a real estate attorney in an area where three 'states' frequently come into play (MD/VA/DC), I am asked this question frequently. Each state has it's own laws and many cities have separate laws (NYC, DC, San Fran) which tend to be stricter. The basics (lease contract terms) and general contract law (sometimes "Common Law") are important, but they can be superseded by local, county and state laws, as well as by some Federal laws (discrimination, for example). The only way to accurately answer your question is to advise you to seek a local or state REC (Real Estate Commission) or other public governing body for free and accurate advice. The good news is that most laws very much favor the tenant's rights.
marc mcgee
Real Estate Professional
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2 years ago
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My rent goes up 20.00 every year, I am hear 6 years. Will it ever stop? I would hate to move. I have been a great tenent, and now people are moving in at a lower rent, for the same thing I have. You would think if you were a good tenant they would want to keep you, but it's quit the opposite, it's almost like they are pushing you out. It was written in my lease that there would be increases, but I never imagined. When I moved in my rent was 667.00 in 2005, it is now 808.00. My paycheck is the same as it was in 2005. It seems like this should be illegal!
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2 years ago
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Here is the Arlington Tenant Landlord Handbook section on rent increases:

Rent increases. There is no rent control in Virginia. However, during a long-term lease the rent cannot be raised unless the lease contains a specific clause allowing it. Tenants on a month-to-month basis can have their rent raised by written notice 30 days before the next time the rent is due. Most landlords do not increase the rent more than once a year. Many landlords find it useful to include an explanation with the rent increase notice, especially when the increase is higher than the general inflation rate.

For tenancies subject to VRLTA a rent increase notice gives the tenant the option of paying the higher rent or moving out before the date on which the new rent is due. In such cases the tenant should notify the landlord as soon as moving plans are firm.
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3 years ago
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First of all, you look too young to be renting. Second of all, how many teeth do you have? If you have enough to take a chunk out of the landlord's leg, do it. They won't give you big time, you're a juvenile. Third of all just tell them - THE RENT IS TOO #@!& HIGH!
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3 years ago
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First of all that is most likely his child. Then secondly I am convinced you are the juvenile. Then last thing, why are you here?
John Dozier
Browsing Housing
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4 years ago
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That rents gotta go up! Of course it's legal, it's not your house!
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4 years ago
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to hairy the canary, before you go saying thats not your house! think about the laws of that state or city before you say such words. don't go telling these people what you think is right when you probably don't know. you're probably a greedy landlord if you are. these tenants have rights and not all of them know about it. so let it be. you're one selfish fool!
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4 years ago
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Not always! It is not under most circumstances unless they are resigning or the landlord give 30-90days notice with a written explanation. If this family is paying 1200month that is almost a 250.00 increase! That is NOT right. I have had my rent raised at a past Apt. and it was with my new lease and only an increase of 100.00 since water was raised very high here. Also I was asked if it was possbile I pay 50- more per yr once in mid term of my lease. I said yes. I lived there for 3.5yrs and it was a fair amount on my 1100 per month rent at the time.
Doesn't matter if it's not the renters home it is ILLEGAL in most states and 20% is robbery. Perhaps they're trying to force them to move, noise, messy etc.???
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4 years ago
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If you are in a lease, no it's not legal, but if you are on monthly basis it is legal. The landlord just has to notify about the increase.
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3 years ago
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In michigan, it is legal. 25% per year. minimum 30 days notice of increase required. If tennt doesnt agree they have the choice to move.
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3 years ago
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It can be done, if notice is given but cannot take effect until the begining of the new lease. that is legal. (as long as notification is given in writing!!!)
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4 years ago
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yes, it is legal and why not? the owner puts the cash into property to maintain and hopefully keep updated. he/she are renting to make money - not a social welfare agency.
if you have a lease however, the terms should be quite clear regarding any adjustments
that may occur while lease agreement in force.

sadly, many will go to lawyers and get advice NOT to pay increase. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A LAWYER NOT CHARGING FOR SERVICES?
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4 years ago
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Point taken and well said. You'll pay more for a lawyer in the end than the increase of the rent for a full year and then when they rent another apt. the landlord may NOT be so kind speaking in regards abot them as tenants...
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4 years ago
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Sure Gregg, I have heard of lawyers not charging for services. It is called working Pro Bono (it means "For the Public Good") and a lot of lawyers do take on Pro Bono cases.

And raising the rent 20% is only legal when there isn't a law against it. There are a lot of cities and counties in this country with rent control laws.
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3 years ago
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Geez Who said anything about welfare? The guy is getting a 20% increase! In his defense that is a bit on the excessive! So he wants to find out if he is protected under law from that size of an increase. Perfectly legit question. I didn't see any mention of wanting a handout or being on welfare. I just do not understand why you said that. Then asking "HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A LAWYER NOT CHARGING FOR SERVICES?" all in caps which usually indicates anger. Now this may not get posted but if not why would gregg alexxa's reply be posted? I just have difficulty excepting these type of posts that are irrational and attacking where a person is asking in a nice way a question seeking help. If I am wrong here please explain. Thanks
John Dozier
Browsing Housing
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3 years ago
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Actually yes, it's called "probono". lol
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4 years ago
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It depends on where you are. If you lived in DC or another city with rent control it would not be legal, but since you live in Arlington your best bet is to negotiate or move.
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4 years ago
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There are many factors that come into play - # 1 do you have rent laws in your city ? If yes find out what they are -I rent a few of my properties and have a copy of a lease law that you can review.Good luck and I hope this information can be of assistance-Jeffrey Martino Young at Essex Mortgage Banks

The terms of your written lease agreement govern your landlord s ability to change the rent in any way. If your lease has a clause that allows for your landlord to raise the rent for a particular reason, you may be obligated to pay the additional amount. Some leases may allow the rent to be raised if improvements, such as hardwood floors or any kitchen or bathroom remodeling, are added to the property. Be aware of this possibility when signing your lease agreement, and determine whether you re willing to pay more to get what may not be more in your eyes. Most lease agreements will not include a provision for rent raising, so if you disagree with this concept, let your landlord know. Management will generally be accommodating and allow for improvements to be made between, rather than during, tenancies.

However, if you have a short-term (like a month to month or even a week to week) lease, or an oral lease agreement, be aware that your landlord may increase rent from one lease period to another provided that you re given at least one lease period s notice. That is, at the beginning of one month, your landlord can give you notice that the rent will be raised next month should you renew your lease at the new rental rate. The same goes for a week to week arrangement you can be notified at the beginning of one weeklong term that rent will be raised over the next week. If your landlord tries to raise rent without having notified you, contact your attorney or a local tenant s rights association for assistance.

Because it s easier for a landlord to raise rent in a short term lease situation, you ll likely wish to avoid a short-term lease situation unless you only need to rent for a month or two before establishing a new, longer-term housing arrangement. Likewise, an oral lease agreement is subject to misunderstandings and disagreements, so document your lease terms in writing whenever possible.

Battle the bill

If a landlord is threatening to raise your rent and the manipulative move doesn t appear to be allowed by your apartment s lease contract, you can take action. Document your landlord s request for increased rent, and verify that your lease agreement does not allow for this request to be made. If your landlord makes demands for the difference between the rent specified in your lease, counter with the lease that does not allow for such a raise in rent. Your landlord should back down once it s clear that he or she has no grounds for the shift in price. If you have a short-term or oral lease agreement, you ll probably have less success fighting an attempted rent increase, but if your landlord attempts to enforce an increase without prior notice, you may have a case. As always, be sure to do your research and make sure local laws are on your side before refusing to pay your rent.
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4 years ago
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Yes. And that only depends if your current lease agreement is up, Or a rental special was given or the market value has changed in your area. Only then will a landlord try to hike rent up close to the market value. For example if the market value is $1,145 and you only pay $845 then your landlord can hike up your rent as much as $300. Always do your home work and follow these simple steps. 1st remember most apartment communities require you to give them a 30-60 day notice so if you know your going to renew your agreement this is what you can do. Visit other communities in your surrounding area to get information on apartment homes just like yours and their current market value. Also have a friend visit your community and get information on your style of apartment home. Then you take that information to your managment company so you can began to bargain on a rental agreement. Remember your apartment community wants to keep you, It is much cheaper to keep you there than have you move out. Remember it cost them more to get that apartment ready for the next person.
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4 years ago
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If you did list the area.. unfortunately your area has no rental rate protection.When you look for a new place always keep in mind that this is now a question you want to ask is how much they usually raise the rent. You may ask if this is negotiable. Some very rare but some will be nice about it.

Your State Rental Law: Landlords can increase rental fees at the end of the lease period by any amount they choose. There is no cap on the amount of increase. You should contact your landlord prior to the end of the lease to determine if there will be an increase and, if so, how much. Landlords should give proper notice prior to the end of the lease if the rent will increase
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2 years ago
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I moved into my apt. 2005, $667.00, every year rent has increased by 20.00, per my lease. I now pay $808.00. My paycheck is the same as it was in 2005. I am now paying more rent for a one bedroom apt. than someone who was to move in off the street. I have been a great tenent, never late with rent, clean, quiet, very friendly with my nieghbors and generally love it here. But I am being punished for good behavior... and when does it stop?? Next year $828.00, the next $848.00 ect...
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2 years ago
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My wife and I lived in Santa Barbara for 29 years and yes, most of the landlords could care less about how good a tenant you are. We were model tenants and it meant nothing to them. In 1981 our rent went from $313.00 per month to $460.00 per month. I moved into a smaller apt. in the same complex. This has been a problem in Santa Barbara for a long time and it will never change, unfortunately. We left there in 2001 and purchased a new home in Fl. which was our first.
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4 years ago
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No, I believe they are legally aloud to raise it ONLY 10% at a time.. with a 30 day notice first before they can raise it ..so if were told ok, as of May 1,2010 your rent is going up 20% and you were just told last week, that is Illegal. Only 10% at a time, and with a 30 day notices that rent is being raised. I would still check in your area. My landlord double mine, paid it but Judge said he is only allowed to raise my rent 10% at a time and with a thirty day notice. Hope this help some 4/26/2010
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4 years ago
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I would advise you to look up the Tenant Landlord Laws for your State. Washington State is very specific and easy for anyone to understand.
Angela Filkins
Real Estate Professional
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3 years ago
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YES BUT IT IS VERY UNETHICAL, IF YOU ARE MOVING PLEASE CONTACT ME AT CRESCENT IN ARLINGTON FOR MORE RENTAL INFORMATION. USMAN @ 703-237-5858 OR UKHAN@UDR.COM
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2 years ago
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Usman-- I live in a UDR building in Arlington, VA & my new renewal offer from UDR is to raise my rent $235/ month or $2,800 for the full 12 month renwal. What's up with that?
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4 years ago
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Odd, the cost of living also depends on the rent increase. Check into it right away! There has been no cost of living increase in Boston MA since 2008. Don't know about VA. Speak directly to your landlord/lady and ask why the high raise in rent see if yo can negotiate. Stay calm and polite, it pays off Doug. Good luck! Jesse
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2 years ago
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There hasn't been a cost of living increase across the entire country since 2008. Don't feel alone in that. Good luck Doug. Get to know your local laws relating to rental properties and rental agreements.
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3 years ago
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I own a townhouse and have renters on both sides.Do I have the write to complain to their landlords.also they are not keeping up the propertys
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1 year ago
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What is this communist Russia? Of course he can, he can actually raise to whatever he or she wants. Once your lease is done....its done.

Source - http://rentalleaseagreement.com
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