My lease was up in April. I was allowed to stay in the apartment until July 31st with nothing in writing while I was finding another. I spoke to the landlord before paying the rent for July and asked if the rent would be prorated. She made it seem as though it would be. I let her know a few days before, that I would be leaving on July 17th. When I went to turn in the keys she tells me that I wouldn't be getting the remainder of the month back, that she could ask the owner but she didn't think so. I called the owner and she said no, because they don't rent for half a month. Which is funny cause they don't do month to month either yet I stayed there 2 1/2 months after my lease was over. Are they allowed to keep the rest of the months rent like that?
The short answer is yes, they can. If your original lease expired in April, but you continued to pay rent for no specific term and without signing a new lease, then you entered a month-to-month tenancy where rent is due and payable for each month, not in increments of a month. Unless, you had a written agreement stating otherwise, your landlord was entitled to the full months' rent for July, just as you were entitled to stay in the property for the full month of July.
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Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Dear "Can my previous landlord":
Yes, the landlord can keep the full months' rent.
Attorney Fucillo is correct. if you pay on the first of each month, then
you are on a month-to-month tenancy. The landlord in a month-to-month
tenancy is entitled to at least fifteen days' notice in writing if the tenant wants
to end the tenancy.
You gave notice that you were staying until July 31st, so the landlord can
charge rent for that time.
There are some landlords who require less notice than the law allows,
but even they are allowed to charge if you give less notice than what they ask for.
For example, some landlords rent month-to-month, but only require two weeks'
notice and allow that to be straight calendar time, not at the end of a month.
The law, however, says that the time must end at the end of the period, whether that is a
quarter, month, week, etc.
Good luck! Hire a local lawyer for their take on it if you are unsure.