San Diego, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant, Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for California

Q: My storage in California raised my rent from 154 to 197 last month and I’ve only been there for 10 months. Legal?

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

A: From a legal standpoint, whether the rent increase is allowed depends on a few factors:

1. Type of lease agreement: If you have a fixed-term lease, the landlord generally cannot raise the rent during the lease term unless the lease agreement specifically allows for rent increases. If you have a month-to-month lease, the landlord can raise the rent with proper notice.

2. Rent control laws: Some cities in California have rent control ordinances that limit the amount and frequency of rent increases. Check if your storage unit is located in a city with rent control laws.

3. Proper notice: In California, landlords must provide a minimum 30-day written notice for rent increases of 10% or less, and a 60-day notice for increases over 10%, even if you have a month-to-month lease.

4. Discriminatory practices: Rent increases cannot be discriminatory or retaliatory in nature.

In your case, the rent increase is substantial at about 28%. If you have a fixed-term lease that doesn't allow for increases, or if your unit is in a rent-controlled area, the increase might not be legal. Even if the increase is allowed, the landlord must provide proper written notice.

To get a definitive answer, consult with a local tenant rights organization or a landlord-tenant attorney familiar with the laws in your specific location. They can review your lease agreement and provide guidance on your rights and options.

Delaram Keshvarian
Delaram Keshvarian
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Orange, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Thank you for asking the question!

1. The lease agreement is the governing instrument. If there is any provision in the agreement that controls the increase in the rent, you can make the owner of storage to comply with it.

2. Even though storage is not a residential property, there can be local rules that control the cap on rent increase.

3. You should be given a notice of rent increase. Actual receipt of the notice cures the improper notice. Since you are already on notice that you there is going to be a rent increase, this defense probably does not help you much.

This is merely discussion of CA general laws and not a legal advice. For a comprehensive advise, more specific facts and investigation are needed. I recommend you consult with an attorney in more detail.

Please let me know if you need further assistance.

Wish you luck.

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