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Old 08-21-2008, 06:58 PM
 
1 posts, read 10,720 times
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Hello all, I'm glad to find a forum with info like this. Bear with me on a couple quick questions.

I'm renting in Minnesota, about 2/3 through a 12-month lease with a private landlord. Recently, I was informed that a property management company would be taking over management of the property, while the landlord retained ownership. My main question is: does the lease I signed at the start of the rental period remain in full force until its completion? In other words, does the management company have any special rights under law to "adjust" the lease terms mid-lease?

I would have thought "no," but here's the reason I ask: The info papers I recently received from the management company (intro, contact info, maintenance info, etc) include some minor differences from the lease. For example, the lease specifies rent received within three days of due date, with a $25 late fee afterward. The management company claims a $50 late fee assessable the day immediately after due date, with an additional $5 each day after that. Now, I've never paid late rent in my life, but my concern is with letting the lease terms slide.

They also want rent now paid directly to the management company, as opposed to the landlord/owner, who is specified as the receiver of rent in the lease. Am I required to do that, or can I continue to pay the landlord/owner directly for the duration of the lease?

And finally, is there any force remaining in oral agreements previously made with the landlord/owner? In particular, we've had an agreement for a slight rent reduction each month if I pay early. This is not in writing.

Thanks for any assistance. I've looked into some state tenant laws online, but none really address this sitution. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-21-2008, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,351 posts, read 10,281,952 times
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If it's not in writing, it's not enforcable and not valid.
As for the change in late fees, they cannot change that until the lease is up for renewal. the late fees may be what the property management charges as a rule, but the lease is what prevails. they can only make changes when the lease comes up for renewal.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:56 AM
 
878 posts, read 1,304,740 times
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You already have a lease with the owner, the management company can not change that lease unless you accept their terms.

Write them a polite letter explaining that you will abide under the terms of your current lease, including the oral agreement with the landlord about rent reduction for early payment. Copy your landlord on the letter and include a copy of your current lease.

An increase to late fees is a change in the terms of the lease, despite the fact that you have never paid late. It is an increase to your rent midway through your lease, which is not allowed.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,956 posts, read 9,763,781 times
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The other answers are correct.

Pay your rent on time and the late fees are a mute point. Oral agreements are not enforceable. Rent payment address can be changed with notice from landlord or landlord's agent, which you have received.

The landlord doesn't want to hear from you or deal with you, otherwise they would not have hired a property management company. I would write a letter asking for clarification of you questions to the property manager and not involve the owner further.

From a property manager point of view, we set up all tenants in our software with the same late fee schedule. It would be a hassle when taking a new property with different late dates and amounts, and trying to keep up with which ones are which. So we ignore the lease and set up the tenant our way for purposes of sending late notices.

Then on the 4th of each month, late notices go out to everyone. If a tenant has a different late fee schedule or amount, I simply explain that they can send the amount stated in their lease, but that they will continue to get the same letter each month and that the stated amount will go into effect upon renewal anyway. Also, I let them know if they don't start paying on time, they will get a poor rental reference from me and possibly not be renewed anyway. 99% of the time, that's the last conversation about late fee amounts and dates that I have with the new tenant, and they simply start paying on time.


Steve
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:56 PM
 
516 posts, read 1,216,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austin-steve View Post
Also, I let them know if they don't start paying on time, they will get a poor rental reference from me and possibly not be renewed anyway. 99% of the time, that's the last conversation about late fee amounts and dates that I have with the new tenant, and they simply start paying on time.
So you have absolutely no concern that the tenant agreed, IN WRITING, to certain conditions, and you're changing them mid-stream?

If a tenant continues to pay the rent as agreed in the ORIGINAL lease, then how can you possibly give them a bad reference?
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,956 posts, read 9,763,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony23 View Post
So you have absolutely no concern that the tenant agreed, IN WRITING, to certain conditions, and you're changing them mid-stream?

If a tenant continues to pay the rent as agreed in the ORIGINAL lease, then how can you possibly give them a bad reference?

No, what I'm saying is that many tenants incorrectly treat the last day of a grace period as the due date for rent. Rent is due on the first, late after the first. We try to encourage a tenant to pay on time, especially if they've formed the bad habit of waiting until the last day of a grace period.

If I inherit a lease with a grace period through the 5th, the new tenant will still get a late notice on the 4th. If they don't want to receive the notice and have to call me each month, they can simply start paying on time. Is that asking too much?

Steve
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:40 PM
 
516 posts, read 1,216,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austin-steve View Post
No, what I'm saying is that many tenants incorrectly treat the last day of a grace period as the due date for rent. Rent is due on the first, late after the first. We try to encourage a tenant to pay on time, especially if they've formed the bad habit of waiting until the last day of a grace period.

If I inherit a lease with a grace period through the 5th, the new tenant will still get a late notice on the 4th. If they don't want to receive the notice and have to call me each month, they can simply start paying on time. Is that asking too much?

Steve
OK - that sounds fair, then. I seem to have misunderstood what you were saying. If you're holding them to the original lease, as it was written, then I have no disagreement.

And for the record, as a renter, I agree with you about the "grace period". I HAVE a 10-day grace period, but I always pay on the first - because that's when it's due...
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,351 posts, read 10,281,952 times
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I'm also a LL. I give a 3 day grace period to people. So many tenats pay on the 3rd. they think it means the rent is due on the 3rd. Everytime I accept the rent on the 3rd, I remind the tenant that it is due on the 1st, late after the 3rd. One month, I made myself unavailable to anyone and those people who thought they could pay on the 3rd were late when they found me on the 4th. They both paid late fees. They now also pay on the 1st. Sometimes you have to be a little mean to get your point across.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:03 PM
 
1 posts, read 10,513 times
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Default I have a similar situation

I have a signed Rental Agreement with a property management company. It goes through next January, but the landlord has been very unresponsive to requests to fix things, dragging his feet and such. The property management company, in fact, dropped out of the situation because the owner would not fix basic things.

So now we have received notification that there's a new property manager. But our lease agreement is with the old property manager. It does not mention the landlord, and it certainly doesn't mention the new management company. So we have no lease with the "new" property manager or property owner.

The lease contains no provision for assignment of the agent/owner role to anyone else. The lease contains provisions for how to do all kinds of things, but contains no provision for the owner switching property managers. And the lease states that it, alone, is the governing document of our agreement and it cannot be changed except in writing.

Do we have ground to vacate early, given that we have no written agreement with the current property manager?
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,351 posts, read 10,281,952 times
Reputation: 2191
there has to be a clause discussing the deposit. who has the deposit? Was the deposit transferred to the new property manager co.? You have to get notice in writing of the change. You have to get notice of who has your deposit. Check the state statutes for your location. Who has the deposit is the key. find that. The lease should stay in effect as written. there should also be a clause addressing who gets served legal papers. Sounds like a bunch of confusion with legal matters and people who do not know what they are doing.
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