Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California


I was in a one year contract for an apartment and my rent was $1,680, my rent was up Jan 31. I spoke with someone from the office letting her know I wanted to upgrade to a two bedroom and she said nothing was available so she recommend I just sign a 5 month lease and see if by then something would be available I agreed with her but never signed anything. I work out of town a lot so when I got back home I had a notice on my door that they wanted to charge me month to month, after I was under the impression that I was doing a 5month lease. The notice for my month to month charge was $3907.75, then they gave me another notice saying it is $2277.05. They already sent me next months rent which is $4515.07. My question is how much can they raise your rent if your doing a month to month lease, even tho I thought I was on a 5 month lease. No where in my lease agreement said how much they would charge me for month to month. I have been sexually harassed by two of there security guards who no longer work here and by the maintenance guys. Trying to come into my apt without my pro mission...I just want out by the end of this month with out messing up my credit, I feel very unsafe, my neighbor got broken into at 3:00 pm during the day, 3 of my friends cars got robbed and they have no cameras. When I went to the office to inform them they said it was not there problem and just blew me outta the office. This whole place is shady and i just need some help/advice on what to do so I can get outta here ASAP and into a place I feel safe to sleep with out them messing up my credit or trying to break into my apt.

Thank your time and help

Asked on 2/19/12, 5:38 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Gibbs The Gibbs Law Firm, APC

A month-to-month lease is exactly that - a rental of a property one-month-at-a-time. So, each month the landlord can, with proper 30 days notice, change the terms of your rental. They can increase your rent without limit, assuming that there is no rent control or other protection in place in the City where you live. If you intend to leave in 30 days, there really isn't anything you can do to change the fact that they increased your rent to some astronomical number. Pay it, move and then sue them for "economic eviction." The rent increases may have been retaliatory and aimed at driving you out of the property. Also if they did not properly notice the rent increase, then they cannot collect the increased rent. That being said, if you don't pay it, they will withhold it from your security deposit and sue you for any short-fall. Better to pay then sue them to collect the money. Contact a tenant's rights attorney in your area. There's no question you are getting the short-end of the stick, but I don't know that you can do much of anything until you are out.

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Answered on 3/01/12, 1:46 pm

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