A lease addendum gives the tenant some power in approving or negotiating the change, because it cannot take effect unless both parties agree and sign.
The change only occurs if they both enter into that agreement.
In the spring of 2014, a news story about a landlord in California garnered a lot of attention.
Any rule change that affects the tenant’s wallet or how they live in the rental property day-to-day can be considered a change in the terms and conditions of that lease agreement contract.
Landlords simply cannot change that when they want.
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So the California landlord cannot make the changes he requested for his current tenants, but he can impose income and credit limits on applicants and future tenants as long as it is written in the lease agreement and is not violating any state or local laws.
If a landlord wants to implement a major change, the two ways to do so are via a lease addendum or waiting until the current lease agreement expires.
The question, can landlords change the rules in mid-lease, has a simple answer—no.
It may seem like the landlord should be able to change the rules for something because they own the property and should be able to switch things up when they want to, as long as the rule change is fair, right? A lease agreement is a contract, which means that two parties come together on an agreed-upon exchange of benefits for both sides.
Inexperienced landlords often try to affect changes in mid-lease because they don’t know any better.
Often it is a reaction to a current tenant problem, such as making new rules about parking, restricting access to a property amenity like a pool or clubhouse or imposing additional requirements for yard maintenance.
A few days later, the landlord sent out another letter to tenants asking them to disregard the earlier notice. that is why we asked our friends at Avvo if they would shed light on this question.