Rent increased for previous months, legal?

govern8r

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Does anyone know what notice period should be given to a tenant for a rental increase at the end of a term?
My agent called me to say that I owe them money. Seeing that I pay my bills on time I asked him to send me a statement. It turns out that my rent was "increased" in February. I never recevied any notice of this until now. My lease ended in January and I informed the agent that I was going to extend it but didn't receive any communication from them until recently with the claim to pay the increase for the last 3 months plus difference in deposit. Any legalese-speaking people on here?
 

Necropolis

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What does you lease agreement say?

A lot of them have an automatic increase clause...
 

garp

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So your lease actually expired and you haven't even seen the new one, which you could not, therefore, have even signed? Doesn't sound right, unless there's some kind of auto-renewal provision in the old lease with an escalation.
 

govern8r

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So your lease actually expired and you haven't even seen the new one, which you could not, therefore, have even signed? Doesn't sound right, unless there's some kind of auto-renewal provision in the old lease with an escalation.
Yes, it has expired. Usually, they send an addendum but I have not received this either. Agent claims that since I asked for the renewal the "new lease" took effect in Feb.
 

Adoxographist

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Probably a verbal agreement for a new lease. Is there anything about extension in the existing contract?
Agent was sloppy and probably didn't bother explaining any changes to the new lease.

CPA applies to landlords as well so you can probably argue about it.

Here is some more additional reading on the subject.
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/legal_guides/lt-2.shtml
 
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govern8r

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Probably a verbal agreement for a new lease. Is there anything about extension in the existing contract?
Agent was sloppy and probably didn't bother explaining any changes to the new lease.

CPA applies to landlords as well so you can probably argue about it.

Here is some more additional reading on the subject.
http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/legal_guides/lt-2.shtml
Thanks for raising this. See below clause on extension.

NOTICES TO VACATE AND/OR EXTENSION
Two (2) calendar months before the expiration of this lease, the Lessee shall give written notice, by registered post, of his/her intention to vacate the said premises or to apply for a further extension of the lease. Any renewal of the lease will be entirely at the Lessor’s discretion and on the terms to be negotiated between the Lessee and the Lessor. No renewal of the lease will come into effect until such time as the parties have concluded a written agreement setting out the terms and conditions of such renewal. Should the Lessee not advise the Lessor as aforesaid, the lease will continue on a two calendar month notice period on the same terms and conditions of the existing lease, whereby either party may give two calendar months notice in order to vacate.
 

Necropolis

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With no clauses or agreements to the contrary would seem that the agent's are taking a chance.

Call them out on their bull**** and see what happens?
 

govern8r

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With no clauses or agreements to the contrary would seem that the agent's are taking a chance.

Call them out on their bull**** and see what happens?
My thoughts as well. I don't know why they think I'm a good target for their unscrupulous trade.
 

3WA

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Agent forgot to do their job - landlord asked for an increase and they're trying to make it your problem.
 

govern8r

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Agent forgot to do their job - landlord asked for an increase and they're trying to make it your problem.
They've not even conceded to their own mistakes. If I had grounds to sue them I would simply because of their bad business practice. If finding another place wasn't a hassle I'd just give them two months notice and leave.
 

Colin62

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Did you seriously think that you were going to have no rent increase? That's a little naïve don't you think?
 

Baxteen

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I agree with Colin62 here you should have not expected there to be no increase.
that being said, it seems that legally speaking you are safe your agent messed up not you. you now have the information you need, call them on the BS.


what I would do in that position is:
Tell agent to send me the legally binding document that shows the new agreed upon rental amount. that is signed by both you and the landlord.
he will say its a verbal agreement. you say no I never agreed to this.

then say you know what put me through to your manager. tell the manager the agent messed up, but you are willing to reach an agreement provided it is on your terms. you will sign a new agreement on the new rental amount (that they have already committed too for the past 3 months) and cary on at that amount from now on, but you will not pay retroactively. this gives him an out and screws the person who actually messed up.
 

Colin62

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What I didn't expect is to be asked for back rent.
Fair enough. I suspect you can tell them to shove it though, but it's going to make the relationship with them tense, so if there's any maintenance needed, you'll probably be at the bottom of the list.

Tell them to produce a lease in writing, and sign it for the future. They can't prove they informed you of a rent increase so they'll battle to get the money out of you legally.
 

ToxicBunny

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Fair enough. I suspect you can tell them to shove it though, but it's going to make the relationship with them tense, so if there's any maintenance needed, you'll probably be at the bottom of the list.

Tell them to produce a lease in writing, and sign it for the future. They can't prove they informed you of a rent increase so they'll battle to get the money out of you legally.
My thoughts exactly..

If the original lease document with your signature has no rental increase percentage then unless they inform you of the new rental amount (in writing) they technically can get stuffed....
 

^^vampire^^

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They have to send you communication on intent to extend or cancel lease no shorter than 40 days prior to lease expiry. Following this should be new terms if tenant chooses to extend. They didn't send you any new details so old lease terms apply. Rental agents are the scum of the earth. Those laws that they do know of is what they try to hide from you (ie they have to place your deposit in an interest bearing account and must pay interest and deposit back - lots of agents keep this interest), and those that are inconvenient they will try ignore, such as sending comms 40 days before end of lease.

Read the laws and educate yourself. It is not very hard to catch these agents out as 9 times out of 10 they don't know or care about the laws that apply to them and they will tell you otherwise.
 
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