Can a Landlord Really Raise the Rent Indefinitely?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 9, 2014

It’s a scary question, but one that can definitely be asked and answered clearly. As we know, real estate law is bound extremely tight by facts and clear words without room for interpretation. It is what it is, and legally, yes, a landlord could hypothetically raise the rent of a building to whatever amount he or she wants. A scary answer, yes.

There are points of fact to keep in mind, though, about that. Such as this: what type of lease are we talking about here? landlordThe actual lease does matter. If you have a fixed-term lease, then a landlord can’t raise that rent during that term. It basically means you’re locked in solid. If you’re, however, on a “periodic term” lease, you might say the landlord raising (or dropping) the rent every single week. The law does say, however, that the landlord has to give proper notice. How much notice, though? Legally, under Florida law, there is no statute. That means a landlord can provide any kind of notice ahead of time for any specific amount of time. The day before, even. Bear that in mind.

However, legally, a landlord must actually provide a reason for raising the rent. If there is no reason, that can be considered a violation of law. The reason also has to be, well, for lack of a better term, valid. If it’s because of your race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation, you can plainly see that we’re talking about a major violation against natural rights.

As always, though, it’s important that you discuss anything like this with a qualified real estate attorney. The kind of lease you’re getting into, plus the situation you’re in, can lend many clues as to what to expect from a landlord. Especially if the landlord already has a bad reputation!

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