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My wife and I are renting a home one of her daughters owns. I pay half the rent and my wife pays the other half by baby sitting her daughters children for 10 months out of the year and (no money changes hands from my wife and her daughter). The other two months of the year her daughter demands I pay her money her mother would work for. I refused to pay her extra and now she is raising my part of the rent by 200 dollars because she says that I owe her. Is this correct for her to raise the rent and demand this money from me?
A: Is this arrangement memorialized in a written lease/agreement? If not, it would be a good idea going forward to have the terms of your agreement in writing. Absent a written agreement, much of the answer to your question depends on where the property is located, since several municipalities impose regulations that go above and beyond the Illinois laws concerning landlord/tenant relationships. Basically, however, your landlord has the right to raise the rent so long as it is not in violation to the terms of a written lease or agreement, and proper notice is given before it takes effect. How much notice is proper again depends on the location.
From a non-legal perspective, however, since your landlord is your wife's daughter, you might want to do whatever it takes to avoid an awkward situation or subsequent legal action. Perhaps your wife can help you work out an agreement for the two months in question. After all, the cost of child care most likely exceeds whatever the equivalent of half a month's rent is, so your wife is arguably saving her daughter a lot of money throughout the year (not to mention potential stress/concern of having strangers take care of her children).
Best of luck to you.
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