What to do about a rent increase and monies paid in advance?

I recently vacated a commercial space following my 5 year lease and relocated to a new office location. I have taken many photos of the space and can prove that it was very well maintained and in fact improved upon since my lease was initiated. Upon initial agreement, I paid first/last month and 1 month’s security as specified in the agreement. Prior to end of the lease, I received a threatening letter from the landlord’s attorney indicating that I was responsible for another $1000 since rent has increased over the 5 years and that it must be paid to avoid further action. As I interpret the landlord, tenant laws, the monies that paid in advance should have covered that increase and I should not have been charged further.

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It's not necessarily the case that the advance monies covered the increase. Look at what your total rent due and owing was over the five years, including any legitimate increases; substract from that the total amount you paid in or for rent during those five years. Include in your total of how much you paid the first and last month's rent. Now compare the remaining balance if any--i.e. that amount by which you allegedly underpaid rent: if it's the case that, including first and last month's, you paid less than you should have, the landlord may take the difference from your security deposit. And if the security deposit was insufficient to cover that difference, then the landlord could proceed against you for the remainder.


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.