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The general rule is, if you rent from month-to-month, then the landlord can raise your rent. However, the landlord must give you at least a 30-day written notice of the rent increase and the increase cannot be effective until the 30 days have passed. Other restrictions may apply if living in government financed housing.
Other Limitations on the General Rule Exist:
- If the proposed rent increase is more than 10 percent of the rent charged at any time during the prior 12 months, then the landlord must give you at least 60-days written notice of the rent increase, and the increase is not effective until the 60 days have passed.
- The landlord must also give you a 60-day notice when the total of all rent increases in the prior 12 months is an increase of more than 10 percent of the rent charged at any time during that period.
- The landlord cannot increase your rent if the increase is in retaliation for exercising your legal rights. For instance, the landlord cannot raise your rent because you complain about a defect in the apartment/house, such as the lack of heat or the lack of hot water.
- However, if you refuse to pay the increase and the landlord then takes the proper steps to evict you, you will be required to prove that the rent increase was retaliatory.
- If you have a fixed-term lease (6 months or 1 year), your landlord cannot raise your rent during the term of the lease unless the lease provides specifically for the rent increase.
- Most printed forms for fixed-term leases include a provision called “Holding Over.” These provisions normally state that if you stay beyond the term of your lease, with the consent of the landlord (consent can be presumed if the landlord continues to accept your rent payment), you become a tenant from month-to-month, but all other provisions of the lease continue.
- Once you become a month-to-month tenant at end of a fixed-term lease, the landlord can raise your rent at any time and for any amount, provided he gives you the proper 30 or 60-day written notice of the rent increase.
If you receive any notice from your landlord or the Court that you do not understand, you can call our offices located in Fresno (559) 570-1200, Visalia (559) 733-8770 or Merced (209) 723-5466 for free legal advice.