It’s no secret that being a parent ain’t cheap but one couple in Arizona found themselves facing an unexpected expense when their landlord told them she would be raising their rent $75 dollars a month because they just had a baby. They were shocked by the increase, so the mom took to Reddit to talk about the interaction and ask if this was something other parents had experienced.
“Today we paid rent and our landlord noticed our little one/asked how old she was and briefly mentioned the extra charge for our baby,” the mom wrote on the legal advice subreddit. “We rent a two-bedroom house and pay all of the utilities, so we were confused what she was talking about.
The mom shared that not only was the landlord trying to increase the rent moving forward but she also wanted to charge them for the previous months after their baby was born. Naturally, this caused her to wonder if it’s even legal to raise rent due to someone having a kid.
“So they’re wanting to retroactively add $75 onto each month they’ve assumed our baby has been in the home, despite the fact she’s only been home for a month a half or so – and I’m not sure this is actually legal?” she asked.
According to experts, it’s definitely not legal. The Federal Fair Housing Act makes raising rent due to the addition of children a form of discrimination and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says parents “cannot be charged more rent or related fees because you have a child.”
So what should these new parents do to ensure they aren’t unlawfully charged? Scott Chang, director of litigation at Housing Rights Center in Los Angeles offered his advice.
“It’s not a bad idea to talk to the landlord on their own first because maybe they will just not impose the surcharge,” Chang told Parents.com. “But if the landlord isn’t budging, they should go to a fair housing organization or they could file a complaint.”
Hopefully, this situation gets sorted out fairly and if you ever find yourself facing a landlord threatening to charge extra rent for your kid, just let them know that they would be violating your rights.