What to do if a new management company is taking over our apartment complex and they are saying that we owe $300 more in rent they we actually do?

They say they have no old docs from old mgmt company and so therefore they default to market value of rent. We have paperwork stating otherwise and proof from bank statements that we been paying the same every month. Other residents are upset about this as well. It seems to be only effecting the renters with lower payments.

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to give them COPIES of your lease agreement.  Make sure you keep your original so that it doesn't accidentally end up lost as well.  If your lease says an amount, that amount controls until the lease is renegotiated at the end of the lease.  They cannot demand payment for more than was contractually agreed to during a certain time frame.  So... if you have a one year lease, they can only charge you the rate set in the lease agreement until the one year is up.  If you are month to month, they can change the rate at the end of the month, when the lease is up.  If you don't have a lease agreement, then you will be treated as month to month-- and if they increase the rent, you will be stuck with the increase.  If your lease agreement does give you protection and they try to do an unauthorized increase (and subsequent eviction), then you can contractually contest the eviction and countersue for breach of contract.  If enough of you are upset over this, you may, as a precaution, want to have an attorney look at your agreements, and send a demand letter to specific performance of the lease agreements.  You could pull your funds for a consultation and letter-- so that no one tenant had to bear the whole cost.


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