Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

I am currently a tenant of an apartment complex. I've been there for almost eight months now and my lease expired. Due to the lease expiring, I am now on whats known as "month-to-month" leasing; when I signed the orginal lease the leasing office told us that when residents go to "month-to-month" rental rates are subject to change. Every month I receive a rent reminder from the property manager. This month my rent was actually cheaper by $40. When I payed my rent I also gave the leasing office the rent reminder, where I was told that it was an error and I was responsible for paying that $40 and now they are attempting to charge me pentalty fees as well. My question is, if I am on "month-to-month" and am not in a binding contract for a specified amount, am I obligated to pay for their "mistake" as well as penalty fees? Also, what do I need to do in order to avoid these charges? Thank you.

Asked on 2/04/10, 9:31 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Ronnie Gipson Higa & Gipson, LLP

The rent charge o $40 less than what you have been paying could have been a genuine administrative error. On the other hand, it could presage an onslaught of adjustments to come in your monthly rent. The best protection for you is to enter into a new written lease. In this economy, landlords are open to entering into leases with terms for less than a year such as 6 month terms. If you have further questions or if there are more salient facts pertaining to this situation and you want to discuss them with an attorney, then give us a call. You can obtain our contact information from our website at

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Answered on 2/09/10, 9:57 am

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