Erik - quick question for you. I mentioned this previously, but, not in detail. Our landlord upped our rent amount by $250 more a month. He said the reason for this was because his son (who wants to move back in here) found a temporary place to move and needed this amount to help him pay his rent there. My response was "message received." We were surprised and didn't know what else to say. This is effective Oct. 1. Like I had mentioned before, we have been good tenants (he has also said so on many occasions), kept this place spotlessly clean and rent has always been paid before the first of the month.
The reason we have hesitated to object is that we need him as a reference for the next place we find and are trying to keep it on the friendlier side. At the same time, we feel this is unfair and it sounds to us like he is trying to get back at us. A rock and a hard place I guess. He did at one point apologize for the short notice.
I know you are a mortgage expert and maybe we should ask the Attorneys, but, you have given me good advice and I thought I would check with you first.
You'll have to look up tenant/landlord rights. From what I know if you have a current lease (not month to month) there is a certain percentage they can increase it on an annual basis. For example, most communities that have property management will typically offer great incentives once you get in but once that lease is up they're going to raise the rent as much as they legally can and either make you sign another lease or charge whatever they want month to month.
If you're on a month to month that's where this would get tricky, it sounds like ultimately you need to leave which now it sounds like will harm them more as they're going to have to find new tenants and lose out on the monthly rent for (you would think at least a month). If you think about that and divide it by 250.00 it's going to take them longer to recover that loss than keeping you in the home at your original payment amount or slightly higher.
I'd be curious to see what you find as far as what percentage they can legally increase your rent, keep me in the loop on that.