Can my rent be increased due to my landlord making renovations to unoccupied units?

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Can my rent be increased due to my landlord making renovations to unoccupied units?

Several units in my complex are undergoing major renovations and repairs. These too need to be made in my unit but have not been taken care of even though I have made multiple requests. The landlord stated the reason for the rent increase is because of capital improvements. The increase will raise my rent from $650 to $750 per month.

Asked on July 30, 2011 New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord cannot increase your unit during a tenancy. So if you have a one year lease, and repairs need to be made (based on needed repairs that did not occur because of you), your landlord will need to make repairs but cannot charge you for them. If you are still in an enforceable active lease, you need to inform your landlord that he cannot increase your rent during your lease term. Keep in mind, read your lease carefully. If your lease allows you to automatically renew your lease (giving you the option) and the landlord has to accept it, then make sure you can renew at the same rental price. Otherwise, think about the following. If you don't have such a lease provision, and your landlord must keep the rent the same until the lease expires, you may be forced to move after your lease ends.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord cannot increase your unit during a tenancy. So if you have a one year lease, and repairs need to be made (based on needed repairs that did not occur because of you), your landlord will need to make repairs but cannot charge you for them. If you are still in an enforceable active lease, you need to inform your landlord that he cannot increase your rent during your lease term. Keep in mind, read your lease carefully. If your lease allows you to automatically renew your lease (giving you the option) and the landlord has to accept it, then make sure you can renew at the same rental price. Otherwise, think about the following. If you don't have such a lease provision, and your landlord must keep the rent the same until the lease expires, you may be forced to move after your lease ends.


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