The renter says she was forced to pay more in the middle of the lease-WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather

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Indianapolis (WISH)-Anika Nelson said she has been living in the trails of the Lakeside apartment complex since September 2020. However, after a few months, she said that she would move out because her family received an email stating that all tenants will have to pay an additional $55 for internet fees, regardless of whether they already have their own settings.

She said the extra cost violated the contract she signed. I-Team-8 found that this is a common problem across the state.

“(For some families here,) trying to get you to pay a salary-and then you want to add another bill,” Nelson said. “Why are we forced to do something when it is not part of our current lease?”

Nelson said her lawyer sent a letter to the building explaining that they believed the landlord had breached the contract. The letter also said: “The Nelsons require you to fulfill the lease in writing and do not charge them an extra $55 a month for Internet services they do not want/need.”

Nelson said the complex has not replied.

“The contract itself cannot be modified without mutual consent,” said Brandon Beeler, director of the Housing Law Center of the Indiana Department of Legal Services.

Beeler said his office sees a common theme. Not only is the landlord increasing rent or charges, but the landlord is trying to do so halfway through the current lease without giving tenants the option to quit.

Beeler stated that the landlord has the right to increase the price when the lease is renewed, usually giving the tenant 30 days to move out or sign a new contract. He said that in this case, the tenant must keep a written record of all communications with the landlord.

Beeler said: “It seems that some landlords are using this as a plan to make money from disadvantaged tenants during the pandemic.”

For Nelson, she said that her family was already looking for a new place to live.

“I will do what I have to do—necessary,” Nelson said. “If you don’t abide by the contract, why should I stay?”

Jasmine Minor of I-Team 8 had a brief conversation with a property manager of the Trails of Lakeside complex. The manager said that they would “not provide any statements” and contact their lawyers. Minor then asked the manager how to contact their lawyer, and the manager hung up.



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