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Landlord refuse to refund prorated last month rent

Seattle, WA |

After an 18-month lease, my lease became month-to-month. Then I gave written notice on 2/11 to move out on 3/13. Now the landlord refused to refund rent for the last 17 days. Belatedly, I realized the law has an end of month clause. However, does it make any difference, if
1. the original lease specified the landlord would prorate last month rent if I moved out mid-month? Though that lease expired, the landlord failed to point out the change in prorate policy.
2. I can argue that the landlord constructively consented to the moving mid-month by
a) failing to object to the move out date when she first received the move-out notice;
b) failing to object to the move out date when I followed up with her later; and
c) showing up for inspection and accepting keys on the move-out day

Original 18-month lease was in writing, then it became month-to-month lease based on an oral agreement.

Attorney Answers 1


Chapter 59.18 RCW (Residential landlord-tenant act) does not require pro-ration of rent except in specific situations. A tenant simply wanting to move generally is not one of those specific situation.

A written agreement often has a provision that all the terms of the agreement, except the rent period and amount, would remain the same when the rental changes to month-to-month. You should review your lease to see what you agreed to do.

There is no law that requires a tenant to physically occupy a rental to the end of the month. The RLTA may require the landlord to do the move-out inspection. Thus, "showing up for inspection and accepting keys on the move-out day" does not necessarily mean that your landlord did anything wrong.

You should review your specific lease and facts with your attorney to find out your legal options.

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