Is landlord offering of a new lease with new terms, and also a price increase compared to the current lease, considered a written notice of rent increase when rejected by the tenant on grounds of the new terms included?
Within Baltimore City, notice of rent increase must be at least 60 days out and "written." (PDF, Baltimore City Code, Housing and Urban Renewal, Article 13, § 8-3(b)) (Overview from People's Law, MD)
For the purpose of the tenant’s rights under this section, any notice of a rent increase is presumed to be received by the tenant no earlier than 60 days prior to the expiration of the lease, unless a lease provides for a longer notice requirement not to exceed 90 days.
Rather than issue a written notice or addendum to the current lease, the landlord opted to issue a completely new lease with new terms. While we had informally agreed to a sensible price increase by text, I was initially unsure why a new lease was issued, as it would begin month-to-month. However, the start date would also be sooner than the typical 60 days to increase (but probably legal to supersede the current lease if signed). Ultimately, I have found the changes to be unacceptable and will not sign the new lease, both due to the changes proffered and on-going issues surrounding utility over-payments that must be resolved prior to my consideration of any new contract.
The current lease has reverted to "month-to-month" status, but with 60 days notice required to vacate/terminate. No notice to vacate has been issued and there is obviously no requirement to sign the new lease.
The question is then: must the landlord issue an explicit notice/addendum of rent increase on the current terms, or would the attempt to issue a new lease satisfy the requirement of 60 days written notice, despite the differing terms and unsigned status?