Rent control laws are passed by each city and vary from region to region. There is no general state rent control guide. Some cities have rent control laws that protect only senior citizens from rent increases.
Other rent control laws limit the amount of rent increases that the landlord can legally make in any one year and also deal with the landlord's responsibility to make repairs, lease renewals, evictions, and special rules for groups like the disabled.
Most rent control cities are located in California, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. You should check both city and state laws to make sure you know about rent control laws in your area.
Sometimes the word rent control and rent stabilization mean the same thing and in other places it does not. There are usually rent control boards in cities that have rent control that enforce the rent control laws. Both tenants and landlords can contact these boards and file complaints. Sometimes rent control laws end and landlords may take advantage and try to evict tenants to raise the rent and get new tenants at higher rents. Landlords must have a valid and legal reason to evict a tenant such as nonpayment of rent, breach of the rental agreement by having pets that are not allowed or subletting without landlord approval or conducting an illegal activity on the premises.
Rent is due the first of each month. If you move in during the middle of the month or any other day than the first, rent is generally prorated from the first of the month.
Grace periods are generally between 5 and 10 days grace period before a late rental charge is incurred. Refer to your rental agreement for your particular grace period.
Late fees vary depending on what you and your landlord negotiate, but they are typically anywhere from a nominal amount of $10.00 to $100.00.
Fees for returned checks can vary as well. Typically, the landlord may charge you for a bank fee of $25.00 -$40.00 depending on how much his bank charges him for returned checks to triple charges of the original amount of the check. Generally, it is just the cost of the landlord's returned bank fee and a late rental fee charge that tenants have to pay, plus any bank charges incurred by the tenant's bank for returned check charges.
Raising the rent cost is governed by rent control laws and the provisions of the rental or lease agreement. Laws governing rent increases vary widely from one area to another, so it's necessary to contact your local rent control office.
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