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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 30167
Experience:  Attorney
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I am renting in Harford county, Maryland. I have been renting

Customer Question

I am renting in Harford county, Maryland. I have been renting the home for almost 3years and on time payments with no issues. My landlord has sent me an email to say that my rent will be increased by about 12%.....from $1650/month to $1850/month come June 1st. This is a big hike up, at $200 more per month. Even though I signed a one year lease to start, she tells me it has become a month to month lease. No contract has been sent. What are my rights for rent increase? Does she at least need to send me something in writing?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
I do not show that you have a subscription, but Customer Service can take a look for you. That's beyond what experts are able to help with.
Your landlord is correct that after a one year lease expires, if the parties do not sign a new lease, it becomes month-to-month. However, a landlord is required to give at least one month's notice that the rent will increase. That gives the tenant the opportunity to either accept the increase and stay, or reject it and give notice that they'll be vacating.
A notice of rent increase sent in the middle of May is effective as of JULY 1, not June 1. There are no limits on how much rent may be increased, but they have to give sufficient notice first.
If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply without rating so I may address them. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively to redirect a portion of the payment you have already made so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. I did some research, and found that there are no limits on rent increase. But my question is the protocol for increasing rent. Doesn't my landlord have to send me something in writing? And, I thought I read somewhere that the percentage of increase (which is high) requires 60 days notice IN WRITING, and the notice begins from the date of the written notice?.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Does an email, with no contract, count as notice?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And if things are not functioning properly, does this has an effect on rent increase agreement?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
It does have to be in writing, but it doesn't have to be sent via first class mail or written on paper. Courts are increasingly willing to accept email as meeting the writing requirement, especially where the parties have an established history of conducting business over email.
There are some states that require additional notice in some circumstances, but I'm sorry to say, Maryland isn't one of them. Look at Maryland Real Prop. Stat., Section 8-402.
Changing the rent in a month to month lease is essentially the same as terminating the current month to month lease and offering to create a new one with the changed terms. It only requires one month's notice.
There is no law that prohibits a landlord from increasing rent where there are issues in the rental property. A tenant may have other remedies if the issues materially affect health and safety, but the landlord is allowed to still increase rent.