Q: The leasing office undid a signed renewal to change monthly rent amount. Is that legal?
I signed and submitted the renewal contract. A week later they undid the signed renewal and increased the rent amount. They said the amount in the contract was not correct. This seems illegal. If I wanted to void the contract a week after signing, there would be a penalty. How can they modify it if I’ve already signed the contract they provided?
A: If you signed the renewal first, and landlord hadn't signed the renewal, then landlord could decide not to sign it, and instead, change the rent amount and send you a revised renewal to sign. But if you and landlord both signed the renewal, and then landlord came back and changed it, then landlord has no legal basis to ask for the increased amount. If you and landlord can't work it out, and you don't pay the higher amount, then landlord could try to (wrongfully) evict you for non-payment. If that happens, then use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney to review the facts and contact landlord on your behalf, or attend the eviction hearing with you. But if landlord files an eviction, that is a permanent court record, even if it gets dismissed, and can make it difficult for you to rent from future landlords who check the records. So try to work it out and avoid that. Also, OH courts are currently not holding eviction hearings, so if landlord did file an eviction, it will take several weeks or months to work through the backlog of cases. So that gives you leverage to deal with landlord, because landlord can't get you out for a while.
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