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  1. #1
    JimmyJazz4 is offline Member
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    Landlord said notice not to renew lease was sent---I did not receive it

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

    I signed a 1 year lease, managed by a real estate agency for an owner, which started on 10/1/07.

    Regarding the Rental Term, the form (with shows at the bottom "Copyright Pennsulvania Association of Realtors 2007) is check for item 5 as follows:
    "This Lease will AUTOMATICALLY RENEW for a term of 1 year (also called the "Renewal Term") at the End Date of this Lease or at the end of any Renewal Term unless:
    1. Tenant gives Landlord at least 60 days written notice before End Date or before the end of any Renewal Term, OR
    2. Landlord gives Tenant at least 60 days written notice before End Date or before the end of any Renewal Term."

    It is now August 24th. I assumed my lease would automatically renew, as per the Residential Lease terms.

    Landlord (actually, the real estate agency--the property management firm) called today (yes, Sunday) about my leaving the apartment since the lease is not being renewed. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about. He said he sent the notice of non-renewal in June. I did not receive it. He would not tell me why it wasn't being renewed.

    I've paid all my rent on time, and get along with all my apartment neighbors. Never any problems.

    What options do I have? Since I didn't receive the notice, can I insist that the automatical renewal be enforce, since he can't prove he ever sent me anything? If I can do this, is the landlord allowed to demand a huge rent increase as a way to still get me to leave? Or is there a cap increase amounts?

    I'm at a loss at what to do, but I would prefer to stay. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. #2
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyJazz4 View Post
    What options do I have?
    Based solely on your post, you have the 'option' of staying for another year.

    Of course, that 'option' could be changed if (when) they file an unlawful detainer (eviction) lawsuit against you on 10/1/08. They would then have to convince the court that they did in fact send you a no-renew notice.

    Since I didn't receive the notice, can I insist that the automatical renewal be enforce, since he can't prove he ever sent me anything?
    You can 'insist' anything you want.... doesn't mean you will get it.

    If I can do this, is the landlord allowed to demand a huge rent increase as a way to still get me to leave?
    Unless the lease provides for a rental change on 'automatic' renewal, the current lease amount remains valid for the new term.
  3. #3
    las365 is offline Senior Member
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    How does the LL claim to have sent the notice of non-renewal? If they sent a certified letter to you and you didn't accept it or go pick it up (if notice of it was left in your mailbox) that can be proof of notice.
  4. #4
    Andy0192 is offline Member
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    How does the lease say that notices must be given? What address does it say that your notices must be sent to?

    Did you ask the Property Management company for a copy of the letter & CRR receipt ? If they did send it - they'd likely have no problem producing a copy.
  5. #5
    Mrs. D is offline Member
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    This seems to be a popular thing for LLs to do this year.

    While there may be state-specific laws regarding rent increases, generally, a clause such as what appears in your lease would preclude your LL from increasing your rent if 60-days notice was not given.

    Have you asked your LL for proof she sent you a non-renewal notice? If she has no proof she sent it, it's her word against yours. In that case, it's a complete guess as to who the magistrate would believe if it went to court.

    LL does not need a reason to not renew your lease. There could be a ton of possibilities - she doesn't like you, another tenant doesn't like you, or, as I frequently see, she thinks she can get a lot more for the apt. if she puts it back on the market, but wouldn't be able to get that amount from you.

    In this case, LL cannot increase your rent if your lease auto-renewed, but there *may* also be a limit to how much a LL can increase rent, just FYI. Check city/county/state statutes for your area to find out.
  6. #6
    JimmyJazz4 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by las365 View Post
    How does the LL claim to have sent the notice of non-renewal? If they sent a certified letter to you and you didn't accept it or go pick it up (if notice of it was left in your mailbox) that can be proof of notice.

    So sorry for the dealy in replying. I thought I set this up to get notices in my email of any replies....

    The LL claims it was sent by regular mail. It was not sent certified.
  7. #7
    JimmyJazz4 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy0192 View Post
    How does the lease say that notices must be given? What address does it say that your notices must be sent to?

    Did you ask the Property Management company for a copy of the letter & CRR receipt ? If they did send it - they'd likely have no problem producing a copy.

    Again, sorry for the delay in replying....

    The lease states there must be "written notice." That's all. It does not state if it needs to be mailed, or how it should be mailed, or if it needs to be posted on the door. Nothing at all.

    They sent a copy via email of what they supposedly sent. There's not CRR receipt because they said they sent it regular mail.
  8. #8
    JimmyJazz4 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. D View Post
    This seems to be a popular thing for LLs to do this year.

    While there may be state-specific laws regarding rent increases, generally, a clause such as what appears in your lease would preclude your LL from increasing your rent if 60-days notice was not given.

    Have you asked your LL for proof she sent you a non-renewal notice? If she has no proof she sent it, it's her word against yours. In that case, it's a complete guess as to who the magistrate would believe if it went to court.

    LL does not need a reason to not renew your lease. There could be a ton of possibilities - she doesn't like you, another tenant doesn't like you, or, as I frequently see, she thinks she can get a lot more for the apt. if she puts it back on the market, but wouldn't be able to get that amount from you.

    In this case, LL cannot increase your rent if your lease auto-renewed, but there *may* also be a limit to how much a LL can increase rent, just FYI. Check city/county/state statutes for your area to find out.
    Thank you for the input. The management company is asking us what our intentions are. We want to stay, but I don't know what they'll do if I tell them this.

    We have amiable relationships with all the tenants we have met. We are great tenants. No noise, pay our rent way in advance.
  9. #9
    Mrs. D is offline Member
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    I don't know what market you're in, so I can't speak to the specifics of your area, but I will say that rental rates throughout the U.S., and especially in hot markets with big mortgage problems, have been steadily inching up this year as less and less people can get mortgages and people are foreclosed on and must rent. It's entirely possible that the LL/MC thinks they can get a lot more rent out of your unit, but that you wouldn't be willing to pay that amount, so they're just looking to get rid of you and re-rent at a higher rate.

    You have several options here. It all depends on how much you want to stay where you are. You could negotiate with the MC. It sounds like they're open to this as they've asked you your intentions, instead of sending you a move-out checklist or request for entry to show the unit.

    If you really want to play hardball, you could tell them you're staying put and paying the same rent, and if they have a problem with that, they can try to evict you and see who wins. As there is not real proof whether or not your MC actually sent the non-renewal notice (and on time), you have at least a 50-50 chance, maybe a bit better. As a lawyer told me when asking about a somewhat similar situation, it's up to the LL to play by their own rules. They wrote the lease (or at least downloaded it and presumably read it), they should have taken due diligence to make sure they got the non-renewal to you on time, and could prove that they got it to you on time should a dispute arise. There's always a risk with litigation, but it's at least an option in this case.
  10. #10
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Since they did not send the notice via any trackable method, they have no proof that they actually sent it. They will not meet their burden and it's highly likely that a court will rule that your lease auto-renewed per the terms and they can't non-renew for another year. So you have the upper hand. You can tell them that you want to stay for another year and they will have to accept it. Or you can tell them that you would be willing to move sooner if they will offer you some consideration....cost of moving expenses and security deposit for a new place, some reasonable amount of cash.
  11. #11
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. D View Post
    I don't know what market you're in, so I can't speak to the specifics of your area
    Then why in the hell do you think your droolings are of any relevance to this thread??
    What a friggin' idiot!!
  12. #12
    Mrs. D is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JETX View Post
    Then why in the hell do you think your droolings are of any relevance to this thread??
    What a friggin' idiot!!
    I was speaking to the market prices for rentals in the area, not the specific laws of the state. Maybe it's not exactly relevant, but given the rash of non-renewal notices that people I know have received, largely so the LLs can jack the rent up higher, I was just trying to give the OP some insight into why his LL might want him out. Way to parse a contextual statement down to a soundbite and blow it out of proportion...you should go work for the Hitle...I mean Bush Administration.

    What is definitely relevant (and you would have noticed had you read past the first independent clause), though, is that in any of the 50 states a contract agreed to by both parties must be followed by both parties. LL/MC does not have proof that they sent him notice of non-renewal, and therefore his chances of being able to fight any unlawful detainer action they bring against him are, as I said, 50-50, maybe a bit better as a matter of law. This is true in any state, county, or locality in the U.S. Without solid proof on the LL/MCs part that they properly served OP notice of non-renewal, the magistrate would have to weigh the statements of the parties. MC says they sent notice, OP said he never got it, they both gain something in their position, and the final decision could be anything. Like I said, 50-50, and then I paraphrased an attorney/professor who felt that LL has more of a burden when it comes to notice as they are, essentially, playing by the rules they wrote.
  13. #13
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with the general sense of the group. Proof will be difficult on their part. They don't need to have a return receipt, but it sure helps. Otherwise it is their word against yours and I bet a court would side with you. (They may be able to produce a log of some sort if it is kept in the ordinary course of business. If so, it adds to their case, but does not end the matter.)
  14. #14
    JimmyJazz4 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Since they did not send the notice via any trackable method, they have no proof that they actually sent it. They will not meet their burden and it's highly likely that a court will rule that your lease auto-renewed per the terms and they can't non-renew for another year. So you have the upper hand. You can tell them that you want to stay for another year and they will have to accept it. Or you can tell them that you would be willing to move sooner if they will offer you some consideration....cost of moving expenses and security deposit for a new place, some reasonable amount of cash.
    Thank you all for your responses. They are insightful and help me to put things in perspective.

    Two points mentioned above bring about questions:
    1) I emailed the company stating we want to abide by the terms of the lease and automatically renew the lease, since we didn't receive a notice of non-renewal. This was in reply to an email they sent us saying they want us out by the end of the month. So now everything is via email. They replied that PA law sees no difference between regular mail and certified mail. They then state that they know of a particular case law where certified mail was not accepted by the court. I don't know what they're trying to get at, except for throwing in the words "law" and "court" maybe in an effort to scare us out of here? Their email is pleasant and they say they understand our position, but they have to do their job. They finally ask us to reiterate our plans---are we going to fight the non-renewal? I don't see this as fighting a non-renewal because I never received a non-renewal notice. I think they know they dropped the ball and they are trying to scare us and "bait" us into saying something they can use against us. Does anyone know about PA law regarding whether certified mail is considered the same as regular mail for notice? That seems to be their stand.

    2) Can we really ask for some consideration, such as moving costs or security deposit for a new place? We'd hate for this to go to a court and possibly get a judgment against us. Wouldn't a judgment affect our credit?

    3) If they decide to try to enforce the alleged non-renewal, what happens? Do we get something in the mail that says be out by the end of the month? Then, if we don't do that, they file some kind of claim and a court date gets set?? Anyone with PA knowledge on this?
  15. #15
    JimmyJazz4 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    I agree with the general sense of the group. Proof will be difficult on their part. They don't need to have a return receipt, but it sure helps. Otherwise it is their word against yours and I bet a court would side with you. (They may be able to produce a log of some sort if it is kept in the ordinary course of business. If so, it adds to their case, but does not end the matter.)

    Thank you for the reply. My main points/questions are in bold for those who prefer to scan the posting:

    I replied to another poster, mentioning that the company is saying they didn't need to send it certified mail, as PA law doesn't differentiate between CRR and regular mail. I don't know if this is true or not.

    I have thought about asking for our deposit back now so we could use that for a deposit somewhere else. I don't know if that's allowed. I don't want to do anything illegal, but do want to deal with this quickly and get this matter over with. I don't want to deal with a court if I don't have to because some posters here think my chances are 50-50. I don't like those chances.

    I prefer to stay here. The rent is very reasonable, and I don't think they have anyone set up to move in here, unless it's a relative who doesn't care what the apartment looks like (layout). (We've kept it very clean).

    The poster(s)' theory the owner thinks he/she can get someone else in here for a higher rent is possible.

    Why they (supposedly) mailed the letter regular mail, and not call us until 2 days AFTER the 60 day window expired is beyond me.

    If I can ask for some consideration and it's legal to do so, I would like to do that , if they say they are going to take us to court to make us leave.

    Any reactions/PA law advisements would be appreciated. My time is running out....

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