What is the law regarding rent increases?

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2011

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What is the law regarding rent increases?

For 4 months I rented a house for $600. My old roommate moved out due to financial issues. Since a new roommate moved in, 2 months ago, my landlord upped the rent from $600 to $700 and now wants $800 starting next month. Is this legal?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your landlord can increase the rent of the unit you are occupying depends upon what the presumed written lease agreement that you have says. The written lease agreement controls the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If you are on a written lease for a set term (for example 1 year as opposed to a month-to-month lease) most likely the landlord cannot raise the monthly rent until the term expires unless the written lease says he or she can. If the lease in a month-to-month agreement, then the landlord can raise the rent.

If the rental is subject to rent control by local ordinance, most likely the landlord cannot raise the rent over a certain percentage of increase as to the existing amount and only within a certain time periods. I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney about your situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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