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If your landlord agrees to let you out of a lease early and has another tenant lined up, can he keep your security deposit, plus

Billings, MT |

If your landlord agrees to let you out of a lease early and has another tenant lined up, can he keep your security deposit, plus in addition to keeping your deposit can he also on top of that charge you with an unpaid rent balance of 200.00 and a cleaning fee, or do those charges come out of your security deposit?

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Attorney answers 3


The landlord can make claims on your deposit for past due rent and damages to the property or other monies owed under the contract. He has to make a claim on your deposit to that effect. If he does not follow proper procedure, you may have a claim against the landlord for return of your deposit. Once the landlord has another tenant sign the lease, you are relieved from any rent obligations.

This is not meant to be legal advice but only a general response to a general question. Legal advice requires more attention to details and circumstances to be accurate and reliable. Do not rely on this response as legal advice. If you want legal advice about your matter, you must set up a consultation with this attorney by calling (406)756-911.


The landlord may deduct all necessary and reasonable repairs (itemized) from your deposit and if it does not cover all, charge you the added $200. And, the terms of early release of lease can include a requirement that all owed and unpaid rent be brought up to even.



Does that mean if my security deposit is for 1,000.00 and my unpaid rent is 200.00 I would be out the whole 1,000.00, or does that mean I would be out the 1,000.00 security deposit, plus 200.00 = 1,200.00??

Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Carol Lynne Zimmerly


A landlord can deduct legitimate claims, not take the whole deposit as a penalty. He can take the 200, then would have to refund 800.


I agree with Attorney Brinkmeier. Read your lease for the provisions he pointed out.

-Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different jurisdictions.

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