My roommate and I signed a 12month lease in September 2011. We "renewed" our lease (new lease) twice for an additional 18 months each time. My roommate moved out of the apartment in Novemeber of 2015 and a new roommate was added to that lease. My new roommate and I renewed/signed a new 6month lease in November 2015 that ran from 1/29/16-7/29/16. We have to give a 60 day notice if we are staying in our unit for any additional time. We gave notice within the 60 days acknowledging we wanted to renew the lease for an additional 6mos. At that time, the office manager informed us that we have late charges (late rent and late pet fees) on our account dating back to 2011 that must be paid before the lease can be renewed. We have never been notified once that there were any outstanding fees on our account. The landlord stated that the fees were supposed to be paid before renewing the previous leases. When I asked why/how we were never notified of any late fees (dating all the way back to 2011) the office manager said we should have been informed. She said they send periodic emails out as a reminder, however she said she could not provide us with one notification that was provided to us.
That seems strange but if the lease allows it and if the payments were late the landlord might be right. Ask for a complete copy of the account showing all monthly charges, late fees, and payments. Find a landlord-tenant lawyer on Avvo if you are still dissatisfied
Your landlord could decide not to allow you to extend your lease if you don't pay, even if the landlord didn't provide notice. Also, the landlord could make an adverse entry on your credit report, lowering your credit score and making it difficult to rent from a landlord who checks your credit. So trying to work it out amicably with the landlord is prudent. If the landlord sues you for the late fees and charges, then have a local attorney review your lease and be sure to respond to the summons before the deadline. You can find a local attorney here on Avvo at the Find a Lawyer tab.
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