What to do if we had a new apartment manger wants to charge pet fee while I am still under lease?

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What to do if we had a new apartment manger wants to charge pet fee while I am still under lease?

I have lived in my apartment complex for 8 years. When I moved in I had a cat and paid a $50 pet fee. Since then the apartments have changed owners. They have changed managers approximately 6 times in that same time. The new apartment manager sent a letter stating that they are going to start charging an pet fee of $50 per month. I am under lease fot the next 3 months. Is this legal?

Asked on June 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract; both parties (landlord and tenant) are bond by its terms, and neither one may unilaterally add to or change those terms without the consent of the other. That means, for example, a landlord or its manager may not raise your rent or add a pet fee during the period of a lease, unless the lease itself specifically gives them the authority to do this. Otherwise, they may be able to add the fee on lease renewal, but not during the lease.


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