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Ask Thomas Swartz Your Own Question
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3176
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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I am a tenant who's first year lease just ended and is being

Customer Question

Good afternoon, I am a tenant who's first year lease just ended and is being renewed. My rent was $1415 per month and is now being increased by 2.75%, which is the maximum percentage in my town. On the website for the apartment complex the current listing for my size apartment is $1420. Can they advertise one price for new tenants and charge more to current tenants at the end of their lease?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: New Jersey
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: the original lease was a year ago. they gave me 30 day notice of the increase. it will be automatically renewed at that time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: only that it takes more than 30 days to find a decent apartment around here. I have to plan on moving before next years lease ends
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 month ago.

Hello JACUSTOMER,

Yes, it is perfectly legal to advertise a lower price for new tenants in order to attract new tenants to a building or complex. Obtaining new tenants is a competitive process among landlords in a particular area, and a landlord can charge a lower price compared to existing tenants in order to attract tenants away from other landlords. The only thing a landlord cannot really do is to charge you a different rental rate based on discriminatory categories such as race, sex, religion, national origin, etc. Rental rate increases for lease renewals are also common and legal. Unfortunately the only remedy for a tenant facing a proposed rental rate increase is to decline the renewal and find another apartment.

Thomas