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Landlords often want to propose changes to the lease agreement. If you as a landlord would want to raise your rent, make your home a no-pet rental, or create new rules (such as prohibiting loud noises beyond a certain time), you may be wondering how you can change the lease.
1. What can you do to change the lease?
2. Is it possible for you to change the lease during a lease term (for example, changing the lease 6 months during a lease term of 12 months)?
3. Do you always need your tenants' signatures when implementing rule changes?
4. What is the 10% rule?
5. What is landlord retaliation and why should you be careful about this?
Let's talk about the first of these 5 questions. What can you do to change the lease?
Changing the lease depends on the type of lease you have:
A month-to-month lease is the type of lease where the lease is renewed at the end of one month. If you have this lease, you need to give your tenants a 30 days notice of any changes you make to the lease term. This includes raising the rent, new rules about pets, noise restrictions, and more. The Module on this in Landlord Prep will also go over the "10% rule" in California for rent increase limits.
If you are 6 months into a 12-month lease, or any other time during a term lease, you cannot change the lease terms unilaterally unless the tenant also agrees. Legally, you have to wait until the lease ends before you can make changes. The tenant is allowed to keep their current lease at whatever rent and rules you agreed to in the lease until it expires or terminates.
NOTE: Another thing you need to keep in mind is that there are several counties or cities in California that are rent controlled. Cities can enact rent control ordinances and impose rent control rules where there previously were none. Rent control can affect how much you raise the rent by limiting you to certain percentages.
For the rest of this lesson, existing Landlord Prep students should log-in to the module entitled During the Tenancy - Changing a Lease or Adding Roommates - Changing Rent, Rules, or Terms.
Not a member yet? Join the Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials so you can access this section, download the lease modification templates, and get the complete DIY landlording course. This will help you stay confident and knowledgeable as a landlord.