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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 102350
Experience:  Attorney
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I rent my apartment in Texas. I just renewed a lease where

Customer Question

I rent my apartment in Texas. I just renewed a lease where there was an increase in my monthly rent. Typically this is not a problem; HOWEVER, there is a new vacancy in the building (it is a 4-unit building and all units are mostly identical), and I see that the rental property is advertising this newly vacant apartment for lease for the same increased amount as my current rent, but the vacant apartment has better / more amenities than my unit (like new kitchen cabinets, new counter tops, AND A DISHWASHER). I have contacted the property management to perform the upgrades to make the amenities match if the rent matches (otherwise, that is discrimination, no?), but they said they do not have to do anything about it.
Can I break my lease for them unfairly charging me more for fewer amenities? If the vacancy is not filled and they drop the price again, can I get them to match that lower rate in my rent?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation, Meredith. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

1) This is not discrimination. Discrimination is when the landlord charges more (or denies a lease) to a party simply due to their race, religion, creed, etc. This is not that kind of a case, so discrimination is not applicable.

2) What the landlord is doing is not illegal. It may be questionable ethically, but it is not immoral. It is the same as when you would be purchasing a grill at Target for $150, and then see the next day that it is marked down to $125 for a special sale. There is no law that says that landlords HAVE to offer similar prices for apartments, or, that they have to make sure the amenities equal and reflect the price.

3) What he is doing is simply charging what he believes is fair or what he believes someone would pay for it. If they get more for less, it is simply because he may have been desperate enough to lower the price.

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I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!