Tenant notified me today that they are leaving. Have a question

17 Replies

Hi everyone. So today at 9pm I received a email that the tenant was terminating their lease. They have been renting for a few years from me and we recently went month to month with the agreement that I receive 45 days notice. So, tomorrow the rent is due and she told me today that they are giving notice. Also she said they would like to move out Dec 11. Are they responsible for the entire month? Can they give that short of notice regarding termination and not paying the rent?

Only 4 days short ? Correct 

I'm not following your comment. 

Well if they've been a good tenant,  I'd let them know that 45 days notice is required and that you'd like rent paid until that time even if they are gone Dec 11, if they agree and leave, get it freshened up and re-rent.

Samantha. I need to know if they are responsible for the entire month of December or just until the 11th which is when they want to leave?

Originally posted by @Sai T. :

Only 4 days short ? Correct 

Yes. She said that in the original lease it was stated as 45 days but since we are month to month it doesn't matter. Isn't December technically her last month since she is leaving the 11th? She is claiming that November is. The last FULL month is November but she is staying until December. I really do not want to get my attorney involved so I am trying to get some solid answers here. 

A 45-day notice means you are owed 45 days of rent unless the property can be rented again sooner. What does the lease say? Usually if tenant occupies even one day, the entire month is due and security is not used for last month's rent because you haven't performed a move-out inspection.

I have one month rent and a security deposit. She informed me last night at 9pm that she is leaving and told me to use the rent deposit to pay for November and asked if I could use the security deposit for the 11 days she is renting in December.

Lease should state no part of security may be used for rent. Does lease allow you to prorate December rent? You should be getting 45 days rent after notice plus have some security in your pocket to cover possible damage after move-out. You need to be comfortable with defending your lease, then be open to compromise.

The lease says nothing about pro-rating rent. We are in a month to month lease. Can they just pro-rate if they want? I really do not want to get my lawyers involved.

Personally, It's not worth to pay 💰 to lawyer. Remember if backlash from tenant, if you pay her more! 

Just let her go and focus on looking a new tenant 

Originally posted by @Lou Migliaccio :

I have one month rent and a security deposit. She informed me last night at 9pm that she is leaving and told me to use the rent deposit to pay for November and asked if I could use the security deposit for the 11 days she is renting in December.

That is a seriously bad idea.  The deposits are insurance to protect you in case things are damaged by the tenant.  They get refunded upon perfect inspection of the property after the tenant moves out.  

Her wanting you to use them is a red flag in my head.  I'd go walk the property immediately.  

If your lease says you pro-rate then pro-rate it through the 11th, otherwise it's a full payment I would think. Really I mean you're talking about a few hundred bucks to just let her go...might avoid the headache and just do it.

45 days means. Date of notice + 45 days.

And she owns you 1.5 X mont rent rate.

Thats it.

You may want to review the landlord-tenant laws for your state to determine whether she must pay through to the end of December.

I complete agree that you should not allow the tenant to use the security deposit as rent.

@Lou Migliaccio

My opinion you seem like you are too quick to move to the attorney play. Attorneys are expensive. Litigation is slow & expensive. I would not focus on the logistics of what you are technically or not technically due. Instead you need to focus on what you believe you can get the tenant to do without going to war.

On a side note I personally believe that 45 day notice is excessive. 30 days is pretty standard. Tenant is willing to pay you for November. That's good. See if you can get tenant to pay you for all of Dec, if not shoot for half. At the very least try to get 11 days worth of rent.

Even if we are in the worst case scenario you are still getting 11 days of December rent. You are doing pretty good. You had ample notice that they were vacating and you were paid for every day they were there. Seems like a win to me. I would much rather be in that situation then out there spending a couple hundred dollars an hour on my attorney while my tenant is at my house punching holes in the walls or running the water nonstop out of spite.

Agreed with @James Wise on this. Especially if they've been a good tenant I'd let some of it slide. Of course its inconvenient but 45 days notice is plenty of time for you to start showing the unit and getting people in. Only if it was a mess inside that needed lots of work would I be worried about it. 

I think you could discuss with the tenant that your policy is that 45 days notice is required and if not done properly the security deposit can be held (if your lease mentions verbage like that). If they leave it clean and in good condition give them back most. This should encourage them to get it in move in condition with minimal money out on yourself. 

I think @James Wise hit the nail on the head!  It doesn't seem worth the battle, and you will be paid for every day that the tenant will be occupying.  I would not feel comfortable with the tenant using the security deposit for the rent...but I guess technically if they paid first and last month's rent when they moved in, plus an additional security deposit, I would let it go.  If you have a separate security deposit on hand and the agreement was that it would be "last month of rent", then makes sense to let them use it as the last month of rent.  

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