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LawGirl
LawGirl, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  I am familiar with this area of law.
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I live in Simi Valley in Ventura County. We we renewed our

Resolved Question:

I live in Simi Valley in Ventura County, CA. When we renewed our lease in Aug of 2009 our rent went down to 1,113 + 25 for pet rent for 18 months. Our rent went down due to lower market rate. Now our lease is up in Feb. and I was wondering if there is maximum percent that it can increase? Our apartment is stating that it will go up to the current market rate which is 1325 (not including pet rent which is now 50 since we have another dog). We currently live at Rancho Corrales Apartments which is managed by Fairfield Properties.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  LawGirl replied 3 years ago.

LawGirl :

Thank you for your question. Although I am an attorney, I cannot represent you. However, I will give you the most thorough information I am able. Unfortunately, unless you are living in rent controlled property (which you do not), there is no limit to which your rent can be raised. As such, your landlord has the ability to set the rent in congruence with the going market rate. Now if you have a lease of a specific duration, it is questionable as to whether your landlord has alter the rent (unless that is written into the lease).

Customer :

When we renewed our lease in Aug of 2009 I had asked the manager at the time if when our renewel came up if it would go this far back up and he said no, however he is no longer with the company. The managment here has changed 3 times in our 2.5 years, I would have to look at our lease to see if it states if there is any items about renewal.

LawGirl :

If you have it in writing that the rent increase is capped, then they need to honor it. However, if it is not part of the agreement, then they can ask you to sign a new lease agreement or renew at a higher rate than you are currently paying.

Customer :

The management company fairfield properties just got out of Chapter 11 and we were never notified that they were going into chapter 11 to begin with

LawGirl :

I can understand that this must have been frustrating. You should have been notified, but the lack of notification will not have impact on your lease renewal

Customer :

I was hoping you wouldn't say that but we're just not that lucky. This current apartment manager is a nightmare to work with. How does one go about what the current rate is to see if their numbers are true. They pull different rates out of the air daily to charge to new tenants based off of "market rate" from one day being 1300 to the next 1325. I want to make sure were are not being yanked around if they are using the "market rate" as they way to figure the price.

Customer :

Where does this market rate come from and how can I find out what it is?

LawGirl :

There is no way to determine whether they are arbitrarily picking their rates (which they are entitled to do). Ultimately, the standard would be to check around the area with similar apartments in similar areas to see what is being collected in rent. You can also Consumer Affairs of the Attorney General's Department to see what they consider fair. However, there is no certain standard or baseline with respect to market price. Market price is really based on what like apartments in the area are asking and what people are willing to pay.

LawGirl, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4606
Experience: I am familiar with this area of law.
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