NJ rent increase with a short notice
2 attorney answers
The landlord is required to give you one month's advance notice prior to instituting a rent increase. This one month notice does not need to predate the end of the old lease, but it will need to predate the commencement of the new lease. For example, if the landlord fails to give a notice of rent increase prior to the expiration of your lease, your expired lease may continue on a month-to-month basis for some period of time before the new rent becomes effective. Having said that, I have some concerns about the fact that your prior lease expired on September 15 and the new lease starts on October 1. While it is possible to revise the rent due date on renewal leases, you have not explained what your landlord is doing about the rent for the period from September 16 through September 30. Is the landlord requiring a half months rent for that period? Secondarily, the landlord may have created a procedural problem by serving the Notice of Rent Increase in the middle of a month. As we know, in order to increase the rent, the Notice must be served at least 1 full calendar month before the rent increase goes into effect, but the court's interpretation of 1 month is that it is a month from the next rent due date. Since the rent due date was the 15th of the month at the time the notice was served, it is possible that a court would conclude that the notice should have been served by August 15, even though it is ostensibly not taking effect until October 1. With rent increase cases, there is no guarantee as to how the Court would rule, but we know that no case based on non-payment of rent is going to be heard this year. Therefore, the real question is whether you think the rent increase is fair. If so, I recommend you pay it, rather than counting on the court to conclude that there was a procedural error.
The landlord had 30 days prior to the expiration of your lease to offer you a new one. Since he didn't,
(or even if he did, you didn'tyou are now in a month to month lease, which runs from the 15th of the month. (E
However, as Mr. Mirne pointed out, the landlord's approach has certainly confused the process. If you want to stay, at the proposed rent, I would contact the landlord and work out the timing details.
It's hard to give you a better answer without knowing more details. For example, was this notice of increase included with a notice to quit? If so, then the notice may become effective next month.
Again, your best bet here is to contact the landlord ASAP and work it out.
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