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Two lease provisions

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Two lease provisions

Postby interrobang » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:13 pm

I have questions about two terms in my sketchy lease (unregulated apartment). The first says that I can't ride out my security deposit and, should I do so, my landlord will assess a fee of 25% of the monthly rent. I'm guessing this is unenforceable as a penalty clause. Thoughts?

The second provides that if I hold over at the end of the lease, the rent will automatically increase by 50%. Any ideas on whether such a provision is valid?

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Postby Justin09 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:46 am

This is a non-regulated apartment so the landlord has the right to request certain things and clauses. He's just protecting his back as a business man against any undesirable tenants.

If you disagree with them, don't sign the lease and look elsewhere. It's that simple.

Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:22 am

To some extent there's some truth to that, but it's an incomplete answer (and a bit trollish). Some lease terms are illegal or unenforceable.

And it's incorrect to describe tenants as undesirables or the LL as a just a businessman. (many are psychotics, not rational business persons).

For example, see http://tenant.net/Rights/CTRC/ctrcf006.html on security deposits (a bit out of date, but I think the info still holds). This page doesn't directly address the question. Nevertheless, I believe such a provision would be unenforceable. If a LL keeps a deposit after move-out, and if challenged, they must show actual damages (or rent owed). And if seen as some sort of a late fee, it can't be usurious.

Another way to see it is a limitation of the administrative fee (1%) or prohibition against commingling of the trust account. I'm not suggesting that would hold, but it might depending on the situation.

Other sources are at http://tenant.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=4902

And it's important to always view something like thin in the context in which it might take place. If a tenant uses the deposit as the last month's rent, and assuming there are no other damages to the unit (other than the ones the LL will invent), then the LL's remedy is in court, and must prove damages.

The second provision as to rent increases after lease expiration might be legal, but again, it has to be seen in context and whether it's really rent or a penalty.
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