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I am a commercial renter who has rented the same space for…

I am a commercial...

I am a commercial renter who has rented the same space for about 40 years. The owner has now given the property over to a management corp (Keegan and Coppin). K & C raised my rent at the beginning of the year and now want to raise it again. Can they raise it twice in one year?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

CA.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

I have talked with the owner, who was on my side, but K & C has beaten him down about participating in the process. He's 93 now and done with it. I don't blame him, but it leaves me there with the wolves.

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Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/27/2018
Lori
Lori, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2,102
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Do you have a written lease? If so, does the lease allow rent increases? Generally, the landlord cannot increase the rent until the end of the lease.
What authority does the management company have over the property? If you do not have a writtenlease, can you get the landlord to sign a lease at current rent rates with you? That would lock your rent.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I've had an ongoing lease for all these years. We never signed renewals. The lease allowed for yearly rent increases of the maximum allowable -- usually 2 or 3%. The rent increase I got in January was in that range. Now they tell me my lease has expired and I must sign a new one at the new rent, which is an increase of about 14 or 15%. I know there is a law disallowing more than one increase a year, but don't know if that applies to commercial properties.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Just making sure you got my last question. Thank you.
Did the lease allow for automatic renewals? Even if it doesn't, it appears as if you have a course of dealing with the landlord for such a long time. It is unreasonable for more than one rent increase in such a short period of time (1 year) for both residential and commercial property.
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I agree it is totally unreasonable, but is it illegal? I don't think they care much about being reasonable.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
The landlord has given them authority to negotiate. As I say, I had a good relationship with the landlord over the years, but he is happy to separate himself from this and wants me to deal with K & C, so that's my only option now.
It is not illegal but you have a good argument based on your 40 year course of dealing with the landlord. You will need to play hardball with the management company and threaten litigation against them and the landlord to enforce your longstanding agreement.
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Lori
Lori, Attorney
Category: Legal
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