Rental price increase

Hello guys, i have a one year contract (renewable) that ends this month and one of the clauses mentions that I should give the landlord 90 days notice period before terminating the contract.

The landlord informed me just 1 month ago  that she wants to increase the price due to new inflation indicator. I dont like how she increased the price and the thing is that the law allows her to do so, but i informed her today that I am not going to renew because i dont accept this increase and now she's saying that i should have informed her 3 months ahead of time.

Any idea if there's something in the law that protects me in that case? Because obviously there's a loohole here whole.

@Dany,


No, there isn't any loophole here.

If your lease has a duration of 1 year or more and less than 6 years, you must inform the landlord 90 days notice period before terminating the contract.


https://www.idealista.pt/news/imobiliar … -e-deveres


And your landlord can increase your rent by 6.94% in 2024 (coeficient 1.0694 due to inflation in 2023).


https://www.portaldahabitacao.pt/coefic … -de-rendas

I am not saying that the landlord did something unlawful. But i mean, they informed me about it just 1 month before end of contract and she saying now that you should have informed me 3 months before end of contract. How is that possible! I wouldnt have decided to go if she didn't change the price.. the thing is that i can't afford this increase and the law isn't giving me a fair chance to figure out a way and i feel that its not fair like that! I am stuck in a loophole

The best way to do this is to inform her now regarding the end of contract and, in the meantime, find somewhere else. You can also talk to her and explain your situation. You already knew that your contract was renewable annually and that you were subject to a legal coefficient for updating the rent.

I don't recall the exact system for legal assistance here - solicitors, advogados etc. - but anyway it's my impression that legal assistance isn't super expensive here.  Not free like expat.com, but then it's worth more too.  There may indeed be something in the law that will defeat a snare like this, and a lawyer with some experience in this area would know right away.

Not free like expat.com, but then it's worth more too.  There may indeed be something in the law that will defeat a snare like this, and a lawyer with some experience in this area would know right away.
   
    -@donn25


OK, find out from lawyers and then come back here and say what you've been told........

Landlord's belatedness in notifying you of the rent increase forfeits strict enforcement of the clause about 90-day notice. Although you should have given your notice as soon as you became aware of the rent increase, landlord's delay clearly outweighs yours. Landlord's conduct violates the covenant of good faith and fair dealing that is presumed in all contracts (see also art. 227 of civil code of Portugal).


It is landlords' responsibility to timely inform their tenants about rent increases, since this factor oftentimes is relevant to tenants' decision on whether to renew a lease. Landlord's failure to timely inform you entitles you to a remedy consistent with art. 254.1 in regard to the 90-day clause.


@JohnnyPT's argument that "You already knew [...] that you were subject to a legal coefficient for updating the rent" is inapposite for two reasons:


1. Rent increases are at landlord's discretion, not mandatory. Unless the landlord informs 90+ days in advance about a rent increase, it is reasonable for the tenant to rule out an increase on a renewal that will take place within that period.


2. Clauses in the sense of "agreement to agree" are null and void for being too open-ended. It is valid for a clause to anticipate that rent might increase, but the lack of reasonable specifics renders the anticipation meaningless. In this regard, see arts. 232-233 of the civil code.


The landlord has two options:


1. Desist from enforcing the 90-day clause, now that you have delivered your notice; or


2. Maintain current rent if she insists on enforcing the 90-day clause.


She just can't have it both ways.

I received her notice about the increase in Jan 17 and i went like crazy looking for another apartment but i was afraid to tell her that i am not accepting the increase and i dont want to renew because i wasnt expecting to find an apartment that quick.now that i found one yesterday and i signed it (3 weeks after i received her notice),i informed her that we wish to terminate the contract and th and she rubs this 3 months notice condition in my face. Now i am stuck between loosing the new apartment deposit and staying in an apartment that doesnt suit me anymore and i don't really know how to figure it out


i was afraid to tell her that i am not accepting the increase and i dont want to renew because i wasnt expecting to find an apartment that quick. 
    -@Dany Baydoun


Understandable, but that is irrelevant from a legal standpoint. Right now what matters is how to secure your legal position and preempt complications.


she rubs this 3 months notice condition in my face.  Now i stuck between loosing the new apartment deposit and staying in an apartment that doesnt suit me anymore and i domt really k ow how to figure it out

I outlined what the landlord's two options are so you can push back and remind her that she just can't do as she pleases.


The fact that you already entered a lease elsewhere suggests that it is in your best interest to pursue only the first option. Think in terms of the articles I pointed out, since landlord's timing & conduct contravenes those provisions of the Civil code.


Feel free to ask here about any specific terms in your lease with her, but it seems to me that the legal sources you have now suffice for prompting her to desist from her unlawful intent.

Article 227 refers to fault in the formation of contracts and would apply here to the landlord if there was bad faith on her part and if the contract does not state that annual rent increases are foreseen.


If there is such a clause (Danny can confirm), then yes, there can be a rent increase in 2024, and this increase can be informed to the tenant from the moment the decree law came into force (on 30 October 2023, Notice no. 20980-A/2023 was published in the Diário da República (2nd Series, Part C), which establishes the coefficient for the annual updating of rent for the various types of lease).


The landlord can therefore inform the tenant of this rent increase, as she has done, but the increase should only take place in the month relating to the January 2024 rent. (In this case, march 2024, due to the 17 jan notice), it is required 1 month in advance).


It is @Dany who is wrongly terminating the contract.


    Article 227 refers to fault in the formation of contracts and would apply here to the landlord if there was bad faith on her part and if the contract does not state that annual rent increases are foreseen.
    -@JohnnyPT


Landlord's delay is unjustifiable and arbitrary. Therefore it fails the requirement about good faith.


Foreseeability of a possible occurrence of an increase does not imply foreseeability of its magnitude. The clause about possible occurrence of increases merely precludes tenants from forcing landlords to maintain the same rent upon each subsequent renewal. That is different from entitling landlords to corner tenants via arbitrary delays.


this increase can be informed to the tenant from the moment the decree law came into force


That is exactly what the landlord failed to do. Hence the forfeiture of the 90-day clause.


I agree (if I'm understanding your post correctly) that the increase would be effective in March 2024. In fact it resembles the 2nd option I outlined, although Dany needs to be skilled in prompting the landlord to choose the 1st option because he already signed a lease elsewhere.


It is @Dany who is wrongly terminating the contract.


No, that's not wrongful termination. He just needs to establish that landlord's delay and conduct warrant rescission of the 90-day clause.

Your analysis assumes that there was a delay and bad faith on the part of the landlord, which is wrong.


The landlord only has to guarantee that the increase takes place after the first annuity and with a notice that anticipates the rent increase by at least one month.


Delay? She could raise the 2024 rent in June or October 2024 if she wanted to. She has that right. She probably chose March 2024 because that's the only month in which the annuity is due and she couldn't increase the annuity in the first year. There's no delay. No bad faith either.

@JohnnyPT The contract mentions 2 points about these 2 topics:

First point: The contract will be automatically renewed if I don't inform the landlord about my decision to terminate the contract 3 months before the end of he contract.

Second point: The landlord has the right to increase the rental price based on law (6,,9% now) on condition that the current rental agreement passed more than 1 year and on condition that she informs me 1 month ahead of time.


But there's nothing that mentions what will happen if I don't accept this raise and I want to terminate the contract. And as you can see she gave me a notice after my right to terminate the contract has passed... so technically she's forcing me to complete my contract which I might have terminated if I knew she will increase the price. I feel that it's unethical to do this. Now she replied that I have 2 options:

"Pay all the months to the finish the contract and leave in 28 February 2024 (12 months) and she don't accepted other person in the house, only you;


Or you pay a compensation of 3 months and go out in final February 2024."

@JohnnyPT It's not my first year, I've been renewing this contract since April 2022.

@pragmatist,


And in case you don't know, as a general rule, the landlord has the right to increase the rent in 2024 based on the coefficients of 2021, 2022 and 2023, i.e. the 3 previous years, IF he forgot or didn't want to apply those coefficients in those years. Can you talk about ""delays"" here? Perhaps, but Portuguese law allows it.

@Dany,


What she is doing is ethical, possible and legal. Your contract says it all.


Your analysis is wrong. The increase for 2024 was stipulated in October 2023. If you didn't want the raise, you could have terminated early. She's not forcing you in any way. You can terminate the contract at any time other than the annuity, as long as you give her 3 months' notice (because your lease has been up for a year).


And you're not doing the right thing... What you're doing is neither ethical nor legal...

@JohnnyPT I am not doing anything right now my friend. I am just exploring the best options. It's just that i am not following any news and I don't know anything about the october updates that you are talking about. I didn't know that I should be that involved so that I can't receive such slap on my face.

We're talking about a 6.9 % increase × 3 months, in case you want to terminate your contract now. But as I've already told you, talk to her (in a friendly, non-aggressive way) and explain that you can't afford that increase, and that you'll try to find another cheaper place to leave in 3 months' time.


But if you want to leave, you also have to inform her by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

@JohnnyPT yes, that's what I am planning to do basically. thank you for your care and support everyone!

And if she's kind, she can keep the rent unchanged for the next three months...

@JohnnyPT

Your analysis assumes that there was a delay and bad faith on the part of the landlord, which is wrong.


Bad faith is a mental state that hardly ever is admitted, which is why courts or jurors infer bad faith from the circumstances. Here the key circumstance is the landlord's willful delay despite her awareness of the 90-day clause that she nonetheless insists to enforce.


The landlord only has to guarantee that the increase takes place after the first annuity and with a notice that anticipates the rent increase by at least one month.


That's not the point. Also the landlord's right regarding unapplied coefficients from previous years is irrelevant.


Here the issue is that the timing of landlord's notification is in conflict with the 90-day clause. That's because the belatedness deprives the tenant from making an informed decision on whether to renew the lease. That deprivation contravenes the core principle of contract law that parties' decisions be made [willfully and] knowingly. This is why I have been explaining that the landlord can't have it both ways.


Absent an exact knowledge of the terms of the lease & renewal, sticking to the 90-day clause can cause to the tenant losses/penalizations because any overlap between the 90-day period and the renewal means that the renewal was entered and then terminated early. In all likelihood, that early termination will trigger penalizations outlined in the lease.


Also the idea that it's tenant's responsibility to keep an eye on government updates is inaccurate, in part because (as I mentioned earlier) increases are not mandatory.

The presumption of good faith is a universally accepted general principle of law: good faith is presumed; bad faith is proven.


How do you prove the landlady's bad faith? How infer bad faith from these circumstances?

What would be her objective? To make an undue profit? To damage the tenant?


Let's assume that the rent was 1000 euros (probably less). With an increase of 6.9 %, she would get around 210 euros more in those three months than the usual rent.


If the tenant went to court:

- if this "bad faith" on the part of the landlady was proven, it would be the landlady who would pay the court costs and a lawyer, which would be much higher than the "undue" amount of the rent of 210 eur. She would lose several rent increases because of the (many) delays in courts. She wouldn't profit nothing from this, quite the opposite, she'd have a big loss.


- If the landlady's "bad faith" wasn't proven, the tenant would probably leave (and he will), the landlady would have to pay to a lawyer, find another tenant, she would have to a real estate agent, pay stamp duty for a new contract and she would lose one or more months' rent in the meantime. Conclusion: She wouldn't profit from this, quite the opposite, she'd have a big loss.


In short, this supposed "bad faith" on the part of the landlady won't give any profit or benefit of any kind to her... so why insist on the conspiracy theory?


As I said, there was no intentional delay in increasing the rent and there is no overlapping of contractual clauses. And periods of time. All the lease contracts have these clauses.

@JohnnyPT

How do you prove the landlady's bad faith? How infer bad faith from these circumstances?


I already explained this when pointing out her intentional delay in the context of her awareness of the 90-day clause and her insistence to enforce that clause.


What would be her objective? To make an undue profit? To damage the tenant?


Every landlord's purpose is to make profit. Some landlords are righteous in achieving that; others aren't. Landlords of the latter type attempt to mislead and/or improperly corner their tenants.


this supposed "bad faith" on the part of the landlady won't give any profit or benefit of any kind to her.


That depends on the tenant. Explaining to the landlady the legal ramifications of her conduct might deter her from trying to take advantage of this tenant, thereby obviating costly proceedings in court. By contrast, tenants' submissive approach in scenarios like this defeats the purpose of the protections inherent to contract law.


why insist on the conspiracy theory?


There's no conspiracy and nobody insinuated there's one. Bringing up an unrelated concept is irresponsible and tends to cause to the tenant more confusion. Furthermore, it reinforces the impression that you don't really know about legal matters.


The concept of conspiracy is inapplicable because there is no indication that the landlady is coordinating/planning with someone else on how to inflict harm to the tenant.


there was no intentional delay in increasing the rent


You yourself admitted that "this increase can be informed to the tenant from the moment the decree law came in to force (on 30 October 2023", yet you cannot explain why the landlady informed the tenant just one month ago.


there is no overlapping of contractual clauses.


Nobody said there is an overlap of clauses. The overlap I mentioned is of periods. That overlap of periods places the tenant at risk of unintended liability in regad to the renewal.


His current lease ends this month. Applying a 90-day period that starts on February 7, which is when the tenant issued his notice, would inevitably overlap the period of the renewal the tenant is interested to avoid.


All the lease contracts have these clauses.


Even if that's true, it's irrelevant to the matter at issue. A party's departure from the requirement of good faith and fair dealing is likely to forfeit some or all of that party's contractual rights.

Hello, I have a problem that is comparable. I was recently told that my landlord wants to raise my rent 12.5% unless I promise to stay here for 6 months. I will have already been here a year in july. The 6 months would be from July 22nd. Is this legal? He told me on May 14th of this year. I am paid rent up until July of this year.


My original lease was for 6 months starting July 22nd 2023. While I've been here I have had to face numerous electrical issues with this building I was moved for 2 months from my apartment so that they could deal with the electricity problem. I literally had a Workman coming to my house. with a key Uninvited at 8:00 a.m. in the morning unknown to me. So I was alone in my house and he just walked in. There's been issues consistently. But as mentioned many times throughout his difficult to find an apartment. His reasoning is that they have to account for them not getting a Summer Rental.

@Virginia,


You'll have to look at your tenancy agreement. But from what you say, as it's an annual contract, he can increase the rent after a year. But he has to give you 30 days' notice by letter. If the renewal is only at 22 July 2024, and if he's informed you now, he's within the legal deadline.

@JohnnyPT it was a 6-month lease that went month to month in January 2024. There's no rental cap in Portugal? there's nothing in the lease about increase other than both parties have to agree,

@ Virginia,


If it's a monthly contract, it's not impossible to increase the price. There are no limits on rent increases in such contracts. If you're not interested, you can leave and look for another flat in the market.

@pragmatist


This is not how it works. If the rental contract is renewable, and the tenant doe not want to renew, he/she has to give the appropriate notice (per rental contract, or if not mentioned, the deault notice as per the civil code).


The rental increse notifications have to be sent by the landlord at least 30 days before they become effective, and does not have to be on the anniversary date. The landlord can miss the anniversary date, say, and implement the increase in the following month, or miss one year, and increase the following by the statutroy increase for both years (up to 3 years - not more)