What to do if on a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord increased my rent without providing 30 days notice?

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What to do if on a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord increased my rent without providing 30 days notice?

Tenant for 7 years; last year month-to-month. Rent was increased 4% about 10 months ago to $856, plus I agreed to a short term lease fee of $125. Then 2 months ago, my rent was increased with less than 30 days notice.

Asked on November 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The rental increase is only effective after the proper notice is provided; but it is effective after that period. So, for example, if insufficient notice was provided to increase the rent for, say, November 2011, you would not have to pay the increased amount for that month--but it should be effective for December 2011, at which point you'd owe the increase.

Of course, as a practical matter, if your landlord insists on getting the increase a month early, you may choose to pay it rather than fight him or her. If you do that, you may wish to send (some way you can prove delivery; e.g. fed ex or fax) a short, polite, and professional letter indicating that you disagree that the increase was effective in whatever  month, but are choosing to pay it voluntarily, without admitting that it was effective in that month--that could help to preserve your right to challenge the increase later, if the landlord keeps trying to do this.


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