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landlord problem

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Wesley

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Wisconsin

This is my problem: New owners bought the apartment building where I rent a two bedroom apartment. My rent has been $500 a month. After paying my January monthly rent of $500 the new owners sent me a bill for $150 plus a $50 late fee claiming that I didn't pay enough rent. My fear is that they will get nasty and lock me out of my apartment. I would like to know if that is legal on their part. But I think what I have going for me is that I never signed my name to a lease that my rent was $650. What complicates this situation is that before the new owners bought the apartment complex managers changed several times and I signed a couple of leases that I don't have copies of(dummy me) but I know that there wasn't a lease with my name on it that stated my rent was $650 a month. I do have my first lease that I signed. I get the feeling that these new owners are going to be hard to deal with. I will appreciate any advice as to my rights and how I will phrase my argument.
 


JETX

Senior Member
New owners bought the apartment building where I rent a two bedroom apartment. My rent has been $500 a month.
Are you on a term lease or a month-to-month tenancy?
If term, they can't raise your rent during the lease period.
If m-t-m, they have to give you 30 day written notice before they can raise your rent.

After paying my January monthly rent of $500 the new owners sent me a bill for $150 plus a $50 late fee claiming that I didn't pay enough rent.
What written notice did they give of this 'new' rent??

My fear is that they will get nasty and lock me out of my apartment.
That would be illegal. If they lock you out without pursuing proper legal process (eviction), simply call the police and they will force the landlord to unlock and give you a key.

I would like to know if that is legal on their part.
See above.

But I think what I have going for me is that I never signed my name to a lease that my rent was $650.
Not relevant. See above.
 

Cvillecpm

Senior Member
Provide the additional $150 with memo notation that you are paying under protest and with rent check ask for a copy of your lease within 5 business days....if they provide you with a lease that was not signed by you, indicate so IN WRITING and provide a copy of your lease showing your signature.

Don't be confrontational - just indicate there is probably a mix up with mgmt records.
 

acmb05

Senior Member
Provide the additional $150 with memo notation that you are paying under protest and with rent check ask for a copy of your lease within 5 business days....if they provide you with a lease that was not signed by you, indicate so IN WRITING and provide a copy of your lease showing your signature.

Don't be confrontational - just indicate there is probably a mix up with mgmt records.
Personally I would not send the extra money yet. I would request a copy of the lease OR the rent increase notice before I gave them any extra cash.
 

JETX

Senior Member
Provide the additional $150 with memo notation that you are paying under protest
I agree with Acme (SHOCK!!) and suggest you NOT pay anything until they show their 'proof' validating the rent increase. However, I do suggest you notify them both verbally AND in writing that you have the $150 rent and will deliver upon proof that their rent increase is valid. Document the delivery of both notices to show the court if needed.
As noted, they can't do anything to you legally (lock out, turn off power, etc.) without legal process.
 

Cvillecpm

Senior Member
Guys - paying the $ 150 additional rent UNDER PROTEST allows Wesley to get it back and shows attempt to pay rent demanded rather than having owners issue a pay or quit and proceed with an eviction and him loosing his home over a clerical mistake.

He should not pay the $50 late fee since by his records, the rent is not late until he has proof of a newer lease.
 

Alaska landlord

Senior Member
And what if OP is wrong and his last lease did specify that a rent increase had been instituted. How much in late fees will he be be able to afford? I say pay now and figure out the details later.Once the landlord produces a signed lease or a dated letter of a rent increase OP can can always get 150 off next months rent of be given a check for 150.00
 

JETX

Senior Member
Guys - paying the $ 150 additional rent UNDER PROTEST
Sorry, but this is real life... and not a football game that you claim to play 'under protest' because you think the ref blew a call.

By paying the additional $150 (under protest or not), could be perceived by a court as acceptance. Further, if the landlord raised the rent improperly, there is a much harder process of getting it credited once it is paid.

owners issue a pay or quit and proceed with an eviction and him loosing his home over a clerical mistake.
And if the OP does as I suggested and the landlord were to try to evict, the OP can simply show the court that they are ready and willing to pay the additional rent ("show them the money!") if the increase is in fact valid. If the OP's post is accurate, I see very little chance of a court proceeding with eviction.

He should not pay the $50 late fee since by his records, the rent is not late until he has proof of a newer lease.
And of course, that is crap. He has a lease (old one or not) that clearly shows when rent is due. And the landlord could show that payments were made on or before a specific date to support the rent due date. The issue of late payment depends on the validity of the additional rent... not the ORIGINAL rent.
("After paying my January monthly rent of $500 the new owners sent me a bill for $150 plus a $50 late fee claiming that I didn't pay enough rent.")
 

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