hey guys and gals,
i have a legal question that i'd be indebted to anyone to could help. here's the situation...
A friend of mine lives in philadephia, and is in a 1 year lease ending August 31, 2007. There is an automatic renewal clause in the contract stating that within 120 days she must tell the landlord she is leaving, and that the landlord must also tell her within 120 days if he will raise the rent. Well, up until April 30 my friend had no plans to leave, but when she got home that night there was a note saying that the rent would be raised the next term. This effectively gave her 24 hours to make a decision about whether or not she wanted the apartment at the new price. Not having a clue whether or not it would be easy to find a new apartment (she's from China, I found her original apartment for her on craigslist and did all the work), she did not tell him the next day that she would be moving out, but called me and asked me about it. I said check some ads, see if you can find a new place. She did, and within 30 days found a place and notified the landlord that she was not renewing the lease. He then said that she was bound to pay for an additional 12 months or find someone else to take the room, since she did not notify him 120 days in advance. This strikes me as extremely unfair, because he gave her a fait accompli -- you have 24 hours to turn it down at the new price, or you are obligated to take the room at that price. Not to mention, the room has been full of rats, she says. Does she have any recourse? 120 days is a LONG time, and a bit unreasonable, and the way he went about this was clearly with the intent of locking the tenant in at a new price. Anybody know if she has any out?
Any comments would be appreciated. I know nothing about this, but I'm trying my best to help her.
Thanks in advance!!!!