Q Is it legal to raise rent $100? I have lived in this apartment for three years and I signed a lease, but it was never renewed after the first year.

I assume I am now on a month-to-month lease and the lease I signed is no longer valid. On July 29 I received a letter saying that as of Sept. 1 my rent would go up $100.

I called to speak with someone about this, but no one has returned my call.

A Yes, it is legal for your landlord to raise your rent, once your lease expires, by as much or as little as they see fit. Your assumption that you are now on a month-to-month lease is accurate. Once your lease expires after that first year of tenancy, and you don't sign another lease, you're on a month-to-month lease or tenancy at will.

However, you don't have to stay and can give one month's notice to terminate your tenancy if there isn't a carryover provision in your original lease that states you need to give more than one month's notice, such as a 60-day notice, to terminate your lease.

Read through your original lease for any carryover provisions or language that mentions terms from your original lease continue throughout your tenancy. If there are no lease terms that carry over, then it is OK to give one month's notice to terminate your tenancy. A $100 increase per month is quite common, especially in today's economy.

Q Is a landlord required to give a tenant a copy of the lease? I never received a copy of my lease.

A Minnesota Statute 504B.111 requires that a landlord of a property with 12 or more units have a written lease with a tenant. Some cities make this a requirement for landlords with fewer units.

Minnesota Statute 504B.115 requires that a landlord who has a written lease with a tenant provide a copy of that lease to the tenant, no matter the number of units on the property. You should contact your landlord and request a copy of your lease.

Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Do not rely on advice in this column regarding a legal situation until you consult a qualified attorney; information provided by readers is not confidential; participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship, and no such relationship is created without a retainer agreement with Klein. If you have questions concerning renting, you can e-mail her at kklein@kleinpa.com, post your questions at www.startribune.com/kellyklein or write in care of Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488.

Read past columns and study rental market data at startribune.com/rent.