Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1

    Default How Should a Landlord Increase the Rent

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Washington

    I own a rent-house in Everett, WA, and it's time to increase the rent. But I want to make sure and do it right.

    Tenants have been in the house for over two years and are currently on month-to-month as the lease has expired. The lease does provide for rollover to month-to-month at a higher rate if not renewed. The lease has been renewed once by mutual agreement, but that has now expired and I don't intend to renew.

    So I guess I can send them a 30 day notice that the rent is going up. But would that be basically a letter titled 'Modification to Lease'? Because it seems that would require mutual approval (signatures). I doubt they'll agree. Of course their only other option is to give me 30 days' notice and move out.

    And the new rent will be higher than the month-to-month rate provided for in the lease. Any problem there?

    So to do this right, what kind of letter should this be? A 'Notice of Rent Increase', or a Modification to the Lease'? And should I send it CMRRR to cover myself?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,992

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    Quote Quoting quantumn
    View Post
    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Washington

    I own a rent-house in Everett, WA, and it's time to increase the rent. But I want to make sure and do it right.

    Tenants have been in the house for over two years and are currently on month-to-month as the lease has expired. The lease does provide for rollover to month-to-month at a higher rate if not renewed. The lease has been renewed once by mutual agreement, but that has now expired and I don't intend to renew.

    So I guess I can send them a 30 day notice that the rent is going up. But would that be basically a letter titled 'Modification to Lease'? Because it seems that would require mutual approval (signatures). I doubt they'll agree. Of course their only other option is to give me 30 days' notice and move out.

    And the new rent will be higher than the month-to-month rate provided for in the lease. Any problem there?

    So to do this right, what kind of letter should this be? A 'Notice of Rent Increase', or a Modification to the Lease'? And should I send it CMRRR to cover myself?
    The most important thing to do, in my opinion, is to make sure that you don't price yourself over the fair market rate. If you do, you will lose the tenant you have, and likely have a hard time finding a replacement tenant. You also need to consider how long the unit may be empty before you get a new tenant.

    Example: The current rent is 1000.00 a month. You want to raise it to 1300.00. Fair market is 1150.00. The unit sits empty for 4 months until you finally drop the rent down to 1150.00 to get someone to take the unit. Therefore you will only collect 8 months of rent in a 12 month period, or 9200.00, instead of the 12,000.00 you would have collected if you had never raised the rent at all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    Under state law, RCW 59.18.140, on a month-to-month tenancy you will provide not less than thirty days written notice of a rent increase, and the increase will become effective only at the conclusion of the next full rental period. If you give notice on September 23, although the thirty days ends sooner the increase won't be effective until November 1. (Seattle has an ordinance requiring a 60 day notice period if rent is increased by more than 10%, and other communities may have passed similar ordinances.)

    Your tenant can choose to give notice or to accept the new rent. If your tenant attempts to ignore the notice of the rent increase, paying the prior rent amount, you will have the option of serving a pay-or-quit notice and, if necessary, commencing an eviction action.

    There are no special words for the notice, beyond clearly informing the tenant of the rent increase and when it becomes effective; the statute requires only that notice be in writing. Sending something by certified mail runs the risk that the intended recipient isn't home to sign for it, or declines to sign, such that it is returned.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    llworking: It's understandable that alot of ppl wouldn't know the economics you describe, but in my case I do. That wasn't the question I asked.

    Mr. Knowitall: Thank you this was helpful. Sure I understand that I need to give 30 days', which I've done today. So the new rent is effective as of Nov 1st.

    There are other factors in play which triggered this:

    I've had a very good relationship with the tenants up until recently, when the wife became mentally unstable. She's threatened lawsuits against me at least five times, by text and in person, but knowing her I took it with a grain of salt. She's been watching these daytime court TV shows; and has no idea. I am interested though in what her husband thinks of such threats.

    They've been keeping a dog for several months without authorization and in contravention of the lease. Not just a dog, but a large pit bull. She promised me she'd get me a dog deposit and letter from a vet saying he's not dangerous by the end of August, so I discounted the dog deposit by 50%, but I got neither one. When I questioned her about it, she said she's disabled and it's her "service dog" and she will sue me under the ADA if I try to get a deposit. I told her I need the papers, then. Nothing, of course. No licensed vet would attest to an untrained pit bull not being dangerous, much less a service dog.

    They've had a large sectional couch out on the driveway all Summer. She's promised repeatedly they'd get rid of it over the past several months, but still there today.

    I've had the property for sale this year, and I promised that if they had to let someone in to show it, I'd discount that month's rent $100. Since January, no showings. Now I know why. She's been covering up my For Sale sign with a blanket all Summer, and chasing off prospects threatening them with legal action all Summer. (They don't want me to sell it so they can stay) No wonder, no showings. (The sign says "By Appointment Only" and the MLS listing says "Please do not disturb tenants") Two weeks ago I told her firmly, do not cover my sign. I then found my expensive acrylic, reflective-letter sign broken! I got it hanging again, and today find they are now parking an SUV to block it.

    There's alot more, but suffice it to say it was these and other factors, plus rising costs and market conditions, which brought this on.

    So, assuming we are going to end up in court -- rather than get into whether or not they have a dog and whether or not it is a service dog or a dangerous one; and assuming I'll end up having to dispose of the couch; and considering I shouldn't have to prove the immense economic harm she's done to me this year by covering up my sign.... the rent is going up. Then they will have a choice, lawsuits or not. For most landlords, any mention of a lawsuit would be it, but I'm not frightened.

    I chose to set up the notice as a lease amendment, instructing them in an accompanying letter to sign it and get the signed copy to me no later than 23 Oct. If they return this signed, it is much stronger in court than a unilateral notice. If they don't return the amendment, and/or don't pay the new rent as of Nov 1, we all know what's going to happen. Also, I sent it CMRRR. Washington law is very much like Texas law (common law, which I'm well familiar with, having owned an apartment complex), which provides that if they decline delivery, they still have been legally noticed, which I will prove in court with the sealed refused letter. Without CMRRR I can not prove to the judge that I've properly noticed them, and based on experience, I'll bet that's the first thing the judge will ask for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,018

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    Would it simply be easier to terminate this month to month tenancy with these tenants, get them out, and then attempt to sell the property?

    http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=59.04.020

    Gail

  6. #6

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    But Winter is nigh, and the monsoon season has just started here in Seattle. It will be difficult for me to get good tenants in this time of year. But if current tenants decide to move, I'll just have to. Houses just don't sell in Winter, especially in the constant rain.

    If they want their deposit back the soonest they could move is December 1, practically speaking, and they'll not find anything like my property this time of year unless they're very lucky, most likely an apartment. Vacancy rates around here are below 5%.

    If they decide to not move for now, we have this relationship through the Winter at least. Raising the rent is the choice I've made, considering all the tradeoffs. Basic problem is, she's misinterpreted Kindness, for Weakness, up 'till recently. Little does she know...

    She will be getting the Notice any minute now, CMRRR. I have my phone in Airplane Mode today.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    1,018

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    "But Winter is nigh, and the monsoon season has just started here in Seattle. It will be difficult for me to get good tenants in this time of year. "

    Well, that's fine but you also indicate the house is for sale. Is any buyer going to feel comfortable looking at it with a Pit Bull living in the place?

    Gail

  8. #8

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    No, but I've pretty much written off selling it for the Winter anyway.

    I was expecting my phone to blow up today, but nothing. Maybe they're trying to figure out what to do; or refused delivery.

    - - - Updated - - -

    As expected I got the return receipt back, so they definitely got the notice.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    Well, no rent this month.

    Can anyone point me to a good Pay Or Quit?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Increasing the Rent

    I don't see that your state has an official, state-approved pay-or-quit notice. I would see if there's a commercial version of a pay-or-quit form available in the legal forms section of a local office supply store. You may be able to find a form online, but I can't vouch for any of the forms you might find.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Rent and Utilities: Can a Landlord Increase Rent if the Spouse of a Tenant Moves In
    By NYrenter in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-11-2014, 07:48 AM
  2. Rent and Utilities: How Much Can Your Landlord Increase Your Rent
    By SiennaGA in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-06-2014, 08:30 AM
  3. Rental Agreements: Lease Expired, Landlord Trying to Increase Rent by 29%
    By the.franster in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-28-2012, 04:42 PM
  4. Rental Agreements: Landlord Raised Rent After I Signed Renewal Stating No Increase
    By greenday7777 in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-30-2012, 08:49 PM
  5. Rent and Utilities: Landlord Wants to Increase Rent and Charge Late Fees
    By JAYECY in forum Landlord-Tenant Law
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-16-2007, 01:12 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources