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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 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.


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