What is fair for a cost of living increase in a lease?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is fair for a cost of living increase in a lease?

Have an 18 month lease; rent is $300. In my lease it says that the landlord can raise rent with 30-day notice for cost of living. He gave me 9 days notice and wants to raise it $150. Is this legal? I mean a lease is an agreement to a certain amount for a certain time period right? Can’t see how they can just increase it and by a whole $150. Can landlord raise my rent this much?

Asked on April 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, if the lease says that there can be an increase during its term on a 30 day notice, then your landlord can raise the rent in the middle of the lease term. The lease is a contract, after all; if you agreed to a lease that allows a mid-term increase, the landlord can do this.

Second, as for what is a cost of  living increase--assuming such is not specified or defined in your lease--then generally, it would be that the landlord could pass on his or her increases to you. So if the landlord's taxes, insurance, and/or utilities, for example, went up by around $150 per month, then that might be a legitimate cost of living increase. At first blush, it seems high, but the thing to do is to ask the landlord to justify or demonstrate the increases, so you can see if you are being asked to absorb legitimate increases in the cost of the property.

Then, if you disagree with the analysis, or that these are permitted cost of living increasss--or even that you're not sure that the lease truly allows mid-term increases--consult with an attorney who can analyze the lease and situation in detail for you. Good luck.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption