We have a family business dilemma. In the 1960s our father, who owned several prominent apartment buildings, rented a large apartment to a cousin but never had her sign a lease. My father, who is now deceased, was a very generous man and never raised her rent despite increasing rises in the cost of maintenance, improvements and taxes. We have heard through the family grapevine that one of her grandchildren is planning on taking over the apartment after she dies.
How do we politely tell this elderly cousin that we have to increase her rent to make it on par with the other tenants’ rent? By the way, our cousin the tenant is a very rich woman, who can well afford to pay the fair market value of the rental.
–E.P., Geneva, Switzerland