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Dramatic rent increase results in landlord/tenant dispute

Rental amounts can naturally be a point of contention for landlords and tenants. When an agreement is reached and a lease signed, there are rarely disagreements that lead to legal intervention. However, when one party feels the other has acted unfairly, a landlord/tenant dispute can erupt and lead to the necessity of legal intervention. Michigan renters and landlords may want to follow the story of a woman who posted the details of a rent dispute on a social network, drawing both sympathy and scorn.

The woman had rented a two-bedroom apartment for roughly 10 years. She was in a rent-controlled place and paid $2,145 a month for rent. Unexpectedly, the woman received notice of a staggering and, in her opinion, unfair rent increase. The notice listed the new rent for the same apartment as $8,900 a month with mention of an increase in the security deposit listed as $12,500. While the notice said that the high security deposit was monthly, it is believed that may have been an error in the notice.

The social media posting of the notice sparked sympathy, but then commenters showed that the woman also rented out one of the bedrooms in the apartment. The renter contends that this is done for cancer patients she treats as part of the business she runs. A representative for the landlord in this case says that one reason for the higher rent is that the woman will have 60 percent more of the house for her own use.

Some have referred to the raising of the rent to such an extreme as a means of "eviction by rent increase." The courts may weigh the increase in size of the space and any other factors that may impact the amount of rent. Michigan residents who feel they, as renters or landlords, have been treated unfairly or have experienced significant changes in an agreement, and have had a landlord/tenant dispute erupt, may benefit from seeking legal assistance to negotiate or litigate a resolution.

Source: blog.sfgate.com, "Bernal Heights tenant moves out, but continues to dispute 400 percent rent increase", Amy Graff, May 4, 2015

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