Landlords cannot raise the rent unless the lease allows for it. Tenants with a fixed-term lease, such as a 1-year lease, cannot have their rent raised during that term if their lease does not allow for it, states FindLaw. However, if the lease at issue is on a short-term basis, such as week-to-week or month-to-month, then the landlord is legally allowed to raise the rent, although the landlord must still provide written notice in accordance with state law.
Some state laws provide an open platform for landlords to set their preferred rent-increase amount. If the raise in rent is going to be above 10 percent, the landlord must then give 60 days' notice, according to California law. Cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco have put in place rent-control measures to limit the amount of rent increases. In the event of the increase in rent, landlords must have a legitimate reason for doing so, reports FindLaw.