Q: Retaliatory $100 rent increase after inspection. Any recourse?
I complained to my elderly landlady how cold my tiny rental house (mo.-to-mo., no lease) was this winter, and the vents clogged with dust. Nothing was done. So I applied for a low-income energy inspection through an OH state dev. program (COAD). I got approved & an inspection date. I informed her of the upcoming inspection when paying rent. COAD spent 4 hours in the house & found high carb.monoxide, no insulation in flr/wall & lots of things to upgrade- $1000's of free work. As I waited for their confirmation notice, so I could go tell her the good news, they instead sent her a bunch of docs to sign to begin work. She freaked out, came over enraged and said "who do you think you are arranging to have all this work done to my house. This is my house & you have no right. If you don't like the way it is you can leave." I explained that I informed her about the inspection ahead of time but she claims I did not and called me a liar. I feel she will try to evict me & steal my deposit too.
A: With only a month to month lease, there is no guarantee of rent, and no limit on any rent increases, even if they seem retaliatory. A month to month tenancy can be terminated by either landlord or tenant by giving 30 days notice in writing. So try to work it out with landlord after she calms down, or talk to local rental assistance agencies about finding a new place.
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