Can my landlord charge me extra rent for this month if he changed our rent due date?

I am having a situation with my rent that I wanted to get some clarification on. I rent in a trailer park. My fiancé and I signed an agreement that we would pay $400 for rent a month, along with $45 for pest control/trash pickup a month, and whatever our electric bill happens to be. We have been paying the rent on the 11th of every month. This month, our landlord decided to “change” the date that rent is due from the 11th to the 20th. In doing so, he charged us $117 extra for rent, stating that the 9 day difference would be $13 a day. As I understand it, he’s charging us an extra 9 days for the month. Which is stupid because no matter what day we pay rent on, it’s all for the same month, no need for extra charges. And he’s the one who changed the day rent was due on us, not us. Am I right or wrong? And what can I do about this?

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there is a written lease, the landlord cannot change its terms while the lease is in force (e.g. until the natural end date or expiration). That means the landlord cannot increase either the amount you have to pay or the due date for the rent.

Once a lease is up, he can propose different terms in order to renew it, and if you don't accept those terms, he could evict you. Or if you didn't have a written lease (but from what you write, it appears that you do), then you'd be on an oral lease as a month to month tenant. In that case, the terms could changed, including changing the rent, on 30 days notice. But with a written lease, neither party may alter the terms without the agreement of the other party.


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