Is it legal for our landlord to raise our rent an additional $150 a month for the birth of our first child?

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Is it legal for our landlord to raise our rent an additional $150 a month for the birth of our first child?

Our landlord has a clause in our lease that says our unit is for 2 adults and 0 children. And that any additional “occupants” will cause the rent to raise $150 per month per occupant. Isn’t this discriminatory against families since it discourages his tenants from having children?

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Although I am not familiar with California's landlord tenant law, my gut is telling me that this provision in your lease does NOT  apply to babies born and that it is in fact discriminatory.  I would refuse to pay it and I would seek some legal help in this matter as soon as you can.  One would have to look at how "occupant" is defined under the landlord tenant law in California but I am betting 10 to 1 that your child does not fit the true description.  And here is what I found on the California Department of Consumer Affairs website:

Under California law, it is unlawful for a landlord, managing agent, real estate broker, or salesperson to discriminate against a person or harass a person because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to them, as well as gender and perception of gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, or disability.

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/discrimination.shtml

Good luck!


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