Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

New owner TRIPLED our rent !

we have rented a small storage garage for the past 10 years for $475.00 per mth a few months ago the property management service told us they wanted us to sign a new rental agreement(month to month) for insurance purposes for the same amount, a few weeks later a lady told us she was the new owner we called the property management and they told us they no longer handled the property. we paid the lady for 2 months then we got a letter that said our rent was raised to $1200.00 per month almost triple Can she do this? We have never signed an agreement with her. She knows it would be a burden to move. Thanks very much for your time on this matter. --

Asked on 3/24/06, 8:55 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen

Re: New owner TRIPLED our rent !

I would suspect that the small garage in which you are living is an illegal residence and that Bakersfield housing officials might be interested in whether you should be paying any rent. For instance, they will look at plumbing facilities, adquacy of electric service, stoves, overcrowding, etc.

Bakersfield does not have a rent control ordinance from what I gather. Therefore, it seems that you would have to negotiate a new lease with the new owner to protect yourself, perhaps somewhere in between. The landlord is entitled to a fair return for a legal residence.

That said,

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Answered on 3/24/06, 10:14 am
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: New owner TRIPLED our rent !

I would assume from the facts given that this is a storage facility and not your residence.

If you don't have a lease, the owner can increase your rent by any amount or terminate your tenancy altogether.

I do not know of any rent control on non-residential property.

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Answered on 3/24/06, 11:56 am
Judith Deming Deming & Associates

Re: New owner TRIPLED our rent !

Yes, of course she can. A month-to-month agreement is just that: you are only guaranteed that the rent and the terms will remain the same for ONE MONTH; alternatively, a lease for a fixed term, such as one year, means that the terms of the lease, including the rental amount, remain for the duration of the term. . Burden or hardship has nothing to do with it.

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Answered on 3/26/06, 8:47 pm

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