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“Can my landlord add fees in the middle of the year?”

rent question
Photo by PoPville flickr user Elvert Barnes

“Dear PoPville,

I just received notice that my landlord is going to add a processing fee to my monthly charge for rent, beginning with the April 1 payment. The fee varies depending on whether I pay by electronic transfer, check/debit card, or credit card.

I live in a rent-controlled building, and my rent goes up only once per year. The last time my rent went up, it went up the maximum amount.

Are there any problems with this new fee? I wonder whether it’s an impermissible mid-year rent increase, or it increases my rent beyond the allowed amount. Or maybe there’s a problem with charging processing different fees for different forms of payment, although I think Congress changed the law on that a few years ago.”

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