They have decided to continue renting and will pay the normal rental, but will not pay for June (they paid the first and last month's rent at the beginning of original rental agreement). They will like to continue month to month which is also acceptable according to the original contract. The thing is, by them not paying for June, I believe the original contract has been terminated (please correct me if I'm wrong). Can I go ahead with this new arrangement without signing a new contract with them? Do I/we need to sign any agreement/contract showing that the initial contract has been terminated? If I agree to the new month to month arrangement, do we have to treat this as a new rental (needing security deposit, last month's rent e.t.c)? I want to make sure things are done properly. Thanks!
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Well, if they are planning to stay then this cannot be their "last" month. The original contract ended by its own terms after that first year, so yes, it is over. Their unilateral decision that July 2013 is their last month and thus they don't have to pay rent would be fine - IF they were planning on moving out before the end of the month.
You don't need to sign a new lease with them if you are OK with the month-to-month arrangement. If you don't have a written rental agreement, you cannot take a security deposit (see RCW 59.18.260) and no, this isn't a "new" agreement such that you'd take a new deposit and a new last month's rent.
In order to be sure you are managing things properly, take your contract to a local real estate attorney who understands residential tenancy law in WA, and get the advice you need.
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Real Estate Attorney
I agree with Ms. Powell and the May would the penultimate month and if they are staying then they still owe for June. if they were leaving, then the story would be different.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
I agree with my colleagues that this is likely the best interpretation - unless you have some terms in your lease I have never seen.
If they do not move out and accept rent then the tenancy continues month-to-month without any further written agreement. On these facts, if you do not want to allow the last months rent deposit to be applied you should inform them in writing that this in not acceptable ASAP. You need to insist they pay June before you accept July rent (or any other rent) - unless you are willing to live with not have a deposit going forward.
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