Many cities have laws when a landlord has to tell a tenant that the rent is going up. For example, starting in January 2001, according to L.A.`s Housing Rights Center, a landlord in L.A. must give at least 30 days` notice to their tenant if there is a rent increase of 10 percent (or less) and 60 days` notice if it is greater than 10 percent. This theoretically helps to protect the tenant to some extent – if the landlord decides to significantly increase the rental price, the tenant has at least some time to find a new apartment before the implementation of the new lease. You can view this information through your city`s housing department. Most landlords charge the annual increase each year on the same date, with the tenant`s birthday remaining the same. However, a landlord can change or « postpone » the tenant`s birthday, provided that at least 12 months have passed since the last annual rent increase. If the landlord imposes an annual increase of more than 12 months after the tenant`s birthday, the effective date of the increase for the tenant`s new birthday and the landlord must wait at least 12 months from the new anniversary date to impose the next annual rent increase. See examples 1 and 4 below for the postponement of anniversary dates. If your landlord increases the rent by penalizing, it would be illegal according to Realtor.com. Suppose you had to sue your landlord because they wouldn`t provide heat for three months (the heat must be provided by the landlords) and by the time your one-year lease expired, they`re increasing your rent.
If you feel like the rent increase is a form of revenge, you`ll need the receipts (i.e. texts or emails) to back it up. However, the wrong motive behind the rent increase will be difficult to prove. The lessor wishes to tax 10% of the total amount of the increase and reserve the balance for future years. How much is the increase? Danchik explains: « In this situation, there is not much room for recourse. But a tenant should have a conversation with his landlord if he feels that the reason for the rent increase is unfair and tries to reach an agreement. What if you don`t agree? Danchik offers to find a lawyer. I do know though that my situation is happy – often landlords make a few changes to your rental amount that you don`t agree with.