INDIANAPOLIS — A woman in Indiana is taking the apartment complex where she lives to court, saying they are adding extra fees that tenants have to pay midway through their leases.
Anika Nelson has lived at the Trails at Lakeside apartments since September of 2020. But tells WISH-TV in a few months she will be looking for a new place to live. She says property managers sent a letter to tenants recently saying that they would have to start paying $55 a month extra as part of an “Internet fee.”
Nelson said that they would have to pay that fee regardless of whether or not they already had their own Internet set up. She says this is a breach of contract.
“(For some families here,) trying to you make it paycheck to paycheck — and then you want to add on another bill,” said Nelson. “Why force us to do something when it’s not a part of our current lease?”
Nelson’s attorney has sent a letter to property managers at Trails at Lakeside demanding that they “honor your lease as written” and that they do not charge her the $55 a month.
“The contract itself cannot be amended without both parties’ agreement,” said Brandon Beeler, with the Housing Law Center at Indiana Legal Services. “It seems that some landlords are using this as a scheme to make money off vulnerable tenants during a pandemic.”
So far neither Nelson nor her attorneys have heard back from the apartment complex. Beeler recommends that if you have had similar happenings where you live that you keep a written record of everything when you sign a new lease.