Can my landlord increase my rent for a pet?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my landlord increase my rent for a pet?

I had 2 dogs on the lease and they only charged me for one. It was their error. They never stated it was $30 per dog. They charged me one pet rent. I have been paying the $1189 stated on my lease for 9 months and now they want to increase it $30 because they caught their error. My lease doesn’t expire for another 3 months. Don’t they have to wait until the end of my lease and then increase if I re-sign?

Asked on September 24, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are correct in that a landlord cannot simply change lease terms, increase costs, etc. during the term of a written lease; during the lease's term, it's provisions control. Sometimes, it's less obvious or indisputable exactly what those terms are; it may be that the landlord legitimately believes that the lease had $30 per dog fee. That's not to say the landlord is right, or would be justified after ligitation, but it's easy to see that the landlord could have thought it other than you, unless the lease is very clear. This is a case where, unless you feel the lease language is utterly unambiguous and are willing to stand on it--and also willing to potentially have a dispute with your landlord, possibly litigation, etc.--it may be better to either pay the fee or work out some reasonable compromise ($15?) based on simply discussing with the landlord your belief as to what the lease meant and looking for middle ground.


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