Rental Basics in Columbia>Question Details

dr6233, Renter in Columbia, SC

Advice on lease issue please:

Asked by dr6233, Columbia, SC Sat Jul 27, 2013

Have leased condo for 2 years, no problems. Contacted to renew at current rate, signed paperwork to renew. Two weeks later called to come in and sign new lease - monthly rate increase of $75. Told they would extend current rate through Oct 1. Also told the original document was to be shredded. I have copies of original email stating rate would remain same, copy of lease (only my signature), and copy of letter I was presented with yesterday with the Oct 1 offer. Doesn't this property management company have to abide by the original offer of renewal for same rate? What should I do? Thank you for any assistance you can offer. I feel taken advantage of.

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Answers

3
Jermaine Brown’s answer
If the landlord offered in writing a new lease at the same rate they have to honor it unless you initially declined. Once you decline the offer is void. You can reach out to the local magistrate office if they refuse to honor the office to get the them to enforce the contract they agreed to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 2, 2013
The property manager offered renewal via email:
"For your convenience, we would like to offer you the following options:
Twelve month lease extension at your current rental rate
If you are planning to renew your lease, respond to this email with your name, property address and notice you will renew for 12 months. All occupants must come to the office to sign the lease extension." Since this offer was made via email does it constitute a contact?
Flag Sat Aug 3, 2013
dr6233,
Here is the link to a Landlord Tenant of South Carolina Pamphlet.
http://appleseedlegaljusticecenter.files.wordpress.com/2012/…
To answer your first question, No they don't have to renew at your original rate. You should try to negotiate with them to give you the same rate or not as much as they are asking for. It is typical to try to get a rent increase, after all the management company is trying to get the homeowner the highest & best rate. Most likely they are getting a fee based on that amount per month. On the other hand you are currently in the property & if you have a good rental history then you are in a good position to negotiate. If you moved out they would have to market the property to find another tenant. You may want to consult an Attorney specializing in Landlord Tenant Laws if you feel that you are being taken advantage of. Best wishes..
Cordially,
Christine House
Century 21 Broadhurst & Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 27, 2013
I am confused. Was the first lease signed by all parties or not? If not, the verbal offer means nothing. If signed by all parties then it would seem you had a contract and it would be advisable to ask a lawyer their opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 27, 2013
Seems to me the property manager probably made the offer without getting owners input?
Flag Sat Jul 27, 2013
I went into the office and signed it on my lunch hour two weeks ago. When I requested a copy yesterday I was shown the lease which was only signed by me. I had to sneak a photo with my phone because they refused me a copy. Does it make a difference if this lease is an extension of an existing lease? I did receive an email prior to all this giving me 3 options; extend for 1 yr at current rate, go month to month, or terminate. Would an email still be legally considered verbal? Thanks for your input.
Flag Sat Jul 27, 2013
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