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Can the rent be raised after 5 months?

REAL ESTATE : RENT IT RIGHT

September 14, 2008|Janet Portman | Inman news

Question: Is it legal for an apartment complex to raise the rent almost $100 after I've lived there for only five months? I signed a five-month lease to make sure I could swing the rent, but had they told me they would raise my rent $100 at the end of the five months, I would have looked elsewhere.

Answer: Unless you live in a city with rent control, the landlord can raise the rent for any reason that isn't retaliatory or discriminatory. It would have been kind to tell you that the rent would go up in five months when you moved in, but it is not legally required. Don't give up yet, however. Consider asking the landlord to negotiate the rent. From the landlord's standpoint, it is always expensive to lose a tenant. If you leave, the landlord will have to clean and ready the unit for the next occupant, advertise and show the unit, and screen and sign up the newcomer. The industry rule of thumb is that landlords lose about two months' rent at turnaround time.

-- Janet Portman, Inman news

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E-mail Janet Portman at janet@inman.com.

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