Buena Park, CA asked in Business Law, Real Estate Law, Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Is this possible Increasing commercial rent 35% in CA?

Currently, my commercial rent contract expires soon(Apr 30,2024)and I will re-new the contract. But landlord told me the rent will be increased 35%. Is this possible legally in CA?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, there is no statewide rent control for commercial properties, which means that landlords can generally increase rent as much as they want when a lease expires or if the lease allows for rent increases. However, there are a few important considerations:

1. Lease terms: If your current lease has specific terms regarding rent increases, the landlord must abide by those terms until the lease expires.

2. Local ordinances: Some cities in California, such as San Francisco, have local ordinances that provide some protection for commercial tenants. Check with your local city government to see if any such ordinances apply to your situation.

3. Negotiation: You can try to negotiate with your landlord for a smaller rent increase or more favorable lease terms. If you have been a reliable tenant and the landlord values your business, they may be willing to compromise.

4. Market conditions: If the proposed rent increase is significantly above market rates for similar properties in your area, you might have more leverage in negotiating a lower increase.

While a 35% rent increase is substantial, it is generally legal in California for commercial properties unless there are specific local ordinances or lease terms that limit such increases. Your best option is to review your lease, research local laws, and attempt to negotiate with your landlord.

Robert Kane
Robert Kane
  • Eagan, MN
  • Licensed in California

A: Commercial leases are less regulated than residential for a few reasons. The parties are considered to be more evenly situated and shelter is a basic human need. Commercial leases are usually for a longer term (e.g. 5 years) so a substantial increase is not unheard of. Obviously, without knowing the specific facts and reading the current agreement, that all I can say. Perhaps you should have an attorney peruse the new agreement before you sign it.

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