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VERIFY: Can landlords increase your rent before your lease is up?

11Alive went to the experts to Verify.

ATLANTA — Many of you have questions about your leasing contracts as rent prices remain high across the metro and country. 

11Alive went to the experts to verify.

THE QUESTION

11Alive viewer Jamesha Brown asked, "I signed a three-year lease and within a year, they raised my rent. Is this legal?"

OUR SOURCES

  • 11Alive legal analyst Page Pate
  • A survey from Lending Tree's Quote Wizzard

THE ANSWER

Credit: TEGNA - VERIFY

Depending on what your lease contract says, a landlord might be allowed to increase your rent before the original term is up.

WHAT WE FOUND

Georgia is getting hammered by staggering rent increases.

According to a recent survey by Lending Tree's Quote Wizzard, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Peach State was nearly $1,200. That is up to 22$ from 2021 and up 26% since 2019. 

"My rent went up 4% this last year," said one local about the rising prices. "If it goes up 12% next year, that's unaffordable."

But can landlords increase the rent while you are under contract?

"Well, it depends on what the lease says," 11Alive's legal analyst Page Pate said. 

Pate said 11Alive viewer Jamesha Brown has a case if her lease is clear about rent increases.

"That has to be mentioned in the lease," Pate said. "If there is nothing in that lease that allows the rent to change, then the landlord cannot increase that rent. That would be a violation of the lease."

Page's advice: read every word of your lease before you sign.

"Be very careful about it," he said. "If you don't understand something in it, ask for explanations for clarifying it. Once you sign that document, a court is going to assume that you read every word of it."

We can verify that a landlord might be allowed to increase your rent before the original term is up if it is explicitly written in your agreement.

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