Woman Claims Her Landlord Is Trying To Charge Her An Extra $75 For An 'Additional Occupant'—Her Newborn Baby

She's unsure if her landlord has the legal power to increase her rent just because her family is expanding.

parents lying on bed with their newborn baby, lease agreement Danik Prihodko / Pexels / Reddit

Landlords tend to get a bad reputation for how they communicate with their tenants. Most, if not all, people who have been renters, have had at least one bad experience with a landlord over, sometimes, basic necessities.

However, one woman is putting her landlord on blast after receiving a notice that her rent was being raised for a reason that she doesn't think is even legal.

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A woman says her landlord is trying to charge her an extra $75 in rent because her newborn baby is considered an 'additional occupant.'

Posting to the subreddit r/legaladvice — an online forum where users can ask simple legal questions and have legal concepts explained — the writer of the post revealed that her landlord was attempting to charge her extra after bringing her newborn baby home.

In the Reddit post, she explained that she and her partner live in Arizona. They welcomed their first child, and for the first two months afterward, the infant was in the NICU.

After bringing their newborn home, the couple went to pay their rent and bumped into their landlord, who had been unaware the woman was pregnant and immediately started inquiring about their baby.


"Our landlord noticed our little one [and] asked how old she was. [The landlord] briefly mentioned the extra charge for our baby [and] how it’s retroactive," she recalled.

She further shared that she and her partner rent a two-bedroom apartment and pay for all their own utilities, so the two of them were initially confused and taken aback by their landlord talking about an increase in their rent because of their newborn.

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However, when they looked over their lease agreement, they realized the landlord had enacted a clause that stated tenants were required to pay an additional fee for all new occupants staying in their designated apartments.


"Tenant(s) agrees to pay seventy-five dollars ($75) each month for an additional person who shall occupy the premise for more than a two-week period," the agreement stated. "If Tenant(s) fail to inform Landlord of additional people occupying the premises, the seventy-five ($75) per person, per month fee, will be assessed retroactively to the move-in date of the additional occupant(s)."

At the time of signing the lease, the woman and her partner had no children and therefore reflected that in the agreement. It seems they were unaware of the clause, and felt overall bamboozled by their landlord.

The woman was left confused at the fact that her landlord wanted to charge them $75 for the two months after their baby was born, despite the infant not having stayed in the home that long, and on top of that, wondered if such a thing was even legal.

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There are laws in place that forbid landlords from charging tenants more rent because of a baby.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), "You cannot be charged more rent or related fees because you have a child."

The Federal Fair Housing Act classifies such a thing as housing discrimination if a landlord were to up the rent because of a family choosing to grow in size. The rules also don't just apply to parents with biological children but also to those adopting or fostering kids as well.

In an interview with Parents, Scott Chang, director of litigation at the Housing Rights Center in Los Angeles, advised that if anyone were to experience a landlord attempting to hike up the rent as the woman in the Reddit post was experiencing, it would be wise to speak to their landlord as a first step.

"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 said. "But if the landlord isn't budging, they should go to a fair housing organization or they could file a complaint."


Other Reddit users encouraged the woman to reach out to the fair housing organization as well. "Seems like, at least, a potential fair housing violation along the “familial status” protection. Just a thought," one user pointed out.

Another user added, "You live in a 2-bedroom unit. You should legally, by occupancy standards, be able to have as many as 5 people in that unit. I don't think a lease can dictate whether or not you have children — that's discrimination."

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.