Ifmy landlord made an error in the amount of rent that I should be paying, do they have to honor it?

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Ifmy landlord made an error in the amount of rent that I should be paying, do they have to honor it?

I was notified my rent option would be to sign a 6 month lease at $735 or I could pay $655 and stay month-to-month. I paid rent on time at the $655 amount. The landlord now says they put the wrong month-to-month amount on my lease; it should be $755. They are demanding I pay $80 more and sign a 6 month lease or $100 more to meet the new month-to-month amount and are threatening to charge me a late fee if I don’t paid today. What rights do I have here?

Asked on June 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Dakota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Retroactively, the landlord cannot do anything--whether or not this was the  agreement the landlord wanted, it is the one the landlord wanted, and the landlord must honor it.

Going forward, when it is time for the current lease term to expire and be renewed, the landlord may make changes, such as increasing the rent; you don't have to accept those changes, but if you don't, you'll need to leave, since you will have rejected the terms of rental.

If you are on  a month to month lease, that means that each lease "term" is effectively only one month. That in turn means that with 1 month's notice, the landlord can alter the terms of the lease, such as by increasing the rent. So it appears that if you get 1 month's notic,e the landlord can increase the rent--or refuse to rent month to month entirely, and require you sign a lease.


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