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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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If a lease agreement is changed by the landlord do we have

Customer Question

If a lease agreement is changed by the landlord do we have to resign lease agreement? And do they have to notify us of a change in the lease agreement
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
Unless you're on a month-to-month, the landlord can't change the lease until it ends and you're getting a new one. At that point, yes, he has to notify you of the change, and you have to agree to it. The agreement CAN be oral, even with a written lease, but oral changes are hard to prove later if there's a dispute.
With month-to-month leases, a landlord must give 30 days notice of the change. Tenants who have been in the property more than one year get 60 days notice. If the tenant disagrees with the change, they're allowed to reject it and terminate the tenancy.
It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Thank you.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Note that you don't necessarily have to resign the entire lease. It's enough to sign an addendum. And an email or text exchange can be used as proof as an oral agreement to change the lease.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am currently not on a month to month and the reason I ask is because I was being charged a late fee of $125 a few times, in my lease that was first signed it stated they will give us three business days to pay or we will get a late fee charged. But I was always being charged a late fee before the three business days were up, when I contacted the office about it they told me it was no longer 3 business days but 2 days period. And with that the late fee being charged was in their favor. Then I see a post from them on yelp that says they give 3 days?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
They can't do that. You still get the three days as stated in the lease, because that's the contract you made.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But the thing is I have re signed my lease a few times so I don't know when it was changed and when I try to pull up my old lease it will not let me in their system but I do have a copy of the first one I signed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
basically if the rule has changed in my lease then shouldn't have everyone all other tenants lease get changed and wouldn't they have to re sign too
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If the change is in one of your more recent leases, then it's binding, even if you signed without reading the new lease. But they need to show that to you as proof of what they're saying.
It's not legally relevant what's in anyone else's lease unless you had some evidence that they changed yours because of your race, religion, ethnicity, or member of another minority group.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I had brought it to the offices attention and I even attached my very first lease which states the 3 business days that's when they responded back with the late fee is 2 days not 3 business days then they told me to check my last lease I signed and when i did it was changed to 2 days. My best friend also has a apartment at the same place I do and she wasn't notified about this change too
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If the change is actually in your most recent lease, then you were legally considered notified when they gave it to you. A person is presumed to have read and agreed with everything in a document he signs.
But they need to give you a copy if you don't have it before they can collect.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's the ting I don't know when It was changed any of my previous re signed leases I am unable to get
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If they're going to claim they gave you a lease with the change, they need to produce it. They can't make you pay without evidence, and neither would a judge.
On top of that, Cal. Civ. Code, Section 1962 says that a landlord must provide a tenant with an additional copy of his lease upon request, up to once per year, within 15 years of when the request was made. If it helps, you can show them the statute:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=civ&group=01001-02000&file=1961-1962.7
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just requested a copy of all the lease agreements that we signed, The way I see this is I feel like they internally changed my lease to state the 2 days instead of the 3 business days. So all the late fees I was being charged with would be in their favor I say this because I have a email from them saying that when they pulled my file they noticed it was changed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't mind paying late fees but the way I had my pay checks coming in I always made sure it was to come with in the 3 business days before the late fee was charged.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If they just wrote in the change, that's not binding. If that were allowed, you could change your copy of the lease to say rent is $1. It doesn't work that way. Any handwritten changes have to be initialed. If they can't produce it, you get the three days. It's not fair of them to just change without telling you.
Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It wasn't a hand written change it was in our lease typed
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Then it's legitimate, if it's there. Without your original copy, you don't have any way to prove it wasn't there before. You'd have to find the lease you signed, or it would have to be obviously altered, like someone used white out over the original and retyped it or something.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a copy of the first lease we signed which states the 3 business days its the new lease we signed in july that states 2 days. But the times I was charged the last fee it wasn't after 2 days it was after 3 days not three business days
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I know. You need a copy of your most recent lease that says 3 days to prove that they changed it without your agreement. If you didn't keep it, the only thing you can do is review the lease they give you and see what it says and if it's clearly altered. Hopefully, they won't take the full 15 days to get it to you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My most recent lease states 2 days. they told me this and said I can view my lease online that shows that. Which I did and that's when I noticed it was changed. from the very first lease mind you as looking back at any late charges it wasn't charged after the 2 days it was charged after the 3 days. So honestly I really feel that they updated and changed my lease within there system so I cant do anything about it. It just doesn't make sense to me why they would post on yelp they give 3 days to all tenants yet I only have 2. And when brought to their attention that I was being charged not according to my lease all of a sudden there is a change mind you a change the leasing female didn't even know of per her email she sent me. How is it that the staff didnt know about the change and they are staff
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
every since I sent the first email about me being charged, I noticed only my car would get no parking notices on it, when I would have no choice to park but only next to a slot that is for future residents. Every other car that's parks there Ive not once seen any notices placed on their car
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
then we a get a lease renewal that raises our rent
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I agree that it doesn't make sense. I'm sorry that you don't have a copy of the lease from when you signed it. If you did, then that would change everything. But since you don't, it's impossible to prove they altered it after you signed.
I get why you think they changed it. But in court, you have to prove your arguments. Most apartment complex employees aren't going to have the contents of your lease memorized. If you really did sign a lease that said 2 days, that statement on Yelp would be meaningless.
I have zero interest in arguing with you. You have an absolute right to refuse to pay, see if they take you to court, and present these arguments to the judge. What I am trying to explain is why you may not be successful. Whatever you decide to do, good luck.
Parking issues and rent increases are beyond the scope of your question about changing terms to the lease. If you want to discuss that, I'm afraid the terms and conditions of this site require that I ask you to close out this question with a positive rating and post a new question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do have a copy of our first lease that we signed when moving in
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not trying to argue with you, I understand
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, the first lease isn't the one that matters. It's the most recent one. Every time you get a new lease, all the terms in that one replace all the terms in the earlier ones. And they have a piece of paper that says you agreed to the 2 day period. You don't have a piece of paper with the correct date proving that you didn't.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand. I would think we would be advised that it is being changed though, I was advised when it was changed every other time it was and I had to resign. but not the late fee changes. But it was my lack of printing out all my leases I had to re sign
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
It's definitely fishy. It's just not illegal without something that shows the term was changed. Even if you had old emails or something, after this term started, that discussed a 3-day late fee, that would help. But the only piece of evidence says it's 2 days and that's hard to overcome.

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