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Automatic renewal or month to month?

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  • Automatic renewal or month to month?

    I would highly appreciate some advice in the situation described below.
    We have been renting in Philadelphia in this apartment complex for the last 5 years. We signed the lease 4 years ago and it explicitly says that "This lease will automatically renew for 1 year if neither party ends the lease at the end of the original term or any of the renewal term. Automatic renewal will not change the terms unless the rent is increased by 5%". This is the only lease I signed and there was 1 letter we received 3 years ago about utilities being an extra. When I gave 60 days notice recently, the landlord is telling me that my lease renews automatically and that I am responsible for the rent for the remaining period.
    My questions are:
    1)The lease says it will automatically renew for 1 year. So, does that mean it became month to month after that.
    2) The management has been incresing rent every year but no written notifications were sent, does accepting the rent increase each year bind me to automatic renewal ?(even though the lease says that they are to send me one if the rent was raised)
    2)Is landlord playing scare tactics or am I really stuck.

    I would highly appreciate any feedback. I am located in Philadelphia.
    Thanks much!
    Last edited by Tfigure; 11-30-2005, 02:47 AM.

  • #2

    I would appreciate some help on the above questions...please!!!


    • #3
      Sounds like your lease has renewed each year upon the same terms and conditions as the original lease. In other words, each year on the anniversary of the expiration of your original lease, your lease renewed for another year.

      I am not sure you completely recited the renewal provision but it sounds like all of the same terms and conditions apply plus an allowable 5% rent increase each year.

      You mentioned something about utilities, can you clarify?



      • #4
        Well, that is my question actually, does the renewal happen every year automatically or is it going to renew just for 1 extra year after the original term?
        The lease also says "lanlord may increase the rent or change any other term of the lease for any renewal period by sending written notice to Tenant. landlord must send this notice at least 60 days before the end of the term or of any renewal term". But I never received any renewal notices except for the one explained below.
        The utilities were included initially but after a year or so they were to be paid seperately and that was the last renewal/modification of terms notice we received. That was 4 years ago and my understanding was that we were month to month by now.
        So, based on the clause above shouldn't I have received renewal notices as my rent was increased by around 2 to 3% each year, thereby giving me chance to reject the renewal, or does accepting the rent increase imply that. Which would make no sense as I would never get 60 days to consider???

        Too confusing...

        Thanks LaborLawNJ, I appreciate your response, any other thoughts. I am not too concerned about the security deposit but my main worry is if I will be held liable to pay the remaining months of the lease...which are about 7 months!!!


        • #5
          So let me ask, what makes you think that you are month to month?

          Did the landlord say something to that effect?

          Or is this your assumption?

          If your lease is yearly (it automatically renewed each year) you will be responsible for the rest of the rental period if you vacate early.



          • #6
            The reason I am assuming it is month to month is that no renewal notice was ever sent except for the one in which it was stated that utilties are no longer included. That notice was under the heading renewal/change of terms notice.

            The landlord didn't say anything about month to month but I am just trying to find out what the law says in PA says about automatic renewal. I am assuming that you have to get a renewal notice, and the lease would automatically renew if you do nothing about I wrong in assuming that? Even, the clause that I stated above in my lease says that if rent is raised renewal notice has to be sent.
            Last edited by Tfigure; 12-02-2005, 11:32 AM.


            • #7
              Has the rent increased more than 5% each year? I cannot answer that. Based on what you say, if it has, then you have grounds to have the lease terminated but otherwise, it sounds like you may be stuck until the annual renewal date unless some other term in the lease allows you to leave. Hard to say any more than that without seeing the lease.