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“Sign a lease with no end date when rolling over to month-to-month?”

Photo by Hannah Fischer

“Dear PoPville,

I fully understand there are a lot more important things going on these days, though I would be very grateful if anyone has had a similar experience and would be willing to share advice. I live in a large apartment building that is managed by a well-known company. The building is not rent-controlled. My year-long lease is up in July, and I’ve gotten the new rent terms from the leasing office. I have indicated that I will be rolling over to month-to-month at the end of my current lease rather than signing a new year-long lease. The leasing office is saying that I need to sign a new lease without an end date “to ensure all of the lease terms are followed” in order to go month-to-month.

They are also going to charge a discounted amenity fee to be paid up front (amenities like the gym and pool are still closed due to COVID). Are they allowed to require me to sign a new lease without an end date and to charge me an amenity fee up front if going month-to-month? Based on what I can find online and in the DC Tenants Bill of Rights, it seems that there should be no new lease upon rolling over to month-to-month and that the terms of the expired lease would still be valid barring any rent increase. My only other experience with this was in a rent-controlled building, where upon the lease expiring, I rolled over to month-to-month at the new rent terms without paying an annual amenity fee and without signing any documents. I would appreciate any guidance about whether I need to sign a lease with no end date and if I can be subject to pay an amenity fee up front if rolling over to month-to-month in a building that is not rent controlled. I have also left a message with the Office of the Tenant Advocate.

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