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Is it legal in Florida for my landlord to increase my rent by 16% because he had to replace the air conditioning unit?

Sarasota, FL |

I have lived here for 2 and 1/2 years at the same rent amount, on a month to month lease. The day that the new a/c unit was installed, a letter was sent to me notifying me of the 16% rent increase giving me less than 30 days notice. Not to mention the fact that this is a disabled family who is on a fixed income.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

The short answer is, yes. If you do not have a written lease agreement and are paying month-to-month with no specific term, either party (landlord or tenant) can terminate the agreement by giving no less than 15 days notice to the other party prior to the end of the monthly period. If your landlord has not increased your rent in 2 1/2 years, I would consider yourself fortunate as I am aware that rental prices have increased significantly in the past four years.

It appears the landlord is simply trying to recover his or her expenses. However, if you would like to lock in the rent amount with no short term increases, you might consider negotiating a long term lease with your landlord. Alternatively, if you believe the new rental amount is above market value, you can terminate the rental by providing notice to the landlord and find a better priced rental property.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

I do have a written lease agreement with the landlord

Edward J. Fucillo

Edward J. Fucillo

Posted

If you have a written lease, then each party is bound by the terms of that lease, which includes the amount of rent that is due each month. Neither party can unilaterally change those terms once a binding agreement is entered. In order for your landlord to increase the rent payment during the term of your written lease, there would have to be some provision in the lease allowing such increase. Without reviewing the lease its not possible to know if there is a contractual basis for the increase. I recommend that you consult with a local attorney to review your lease; many offer a free initial consultation. If your landlord has violated the lease agreement, it may be possible for an attorney to resolve this issue simply by writing a letter to your landlord.

Posted

I agree with my colleague. A Lease will govern the relationship between the landlord and tenant. Most month-to-month lease agreements allow the landlord to increase the rent with proper notice.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship. Unless you are already a client of the Law Office of Preston H. Oughton, pursuant to an executed fee agreement, you should not use, interpret, or rely on this response as legal advice or opinion. Do not act on any information in this response without seeking legal advice. Preston H. Oughton poughton@oughtonlaw.com (904) 854-6336.

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