I had a tenant with a yearly lease. Commencing June 1st. Did not sign a new lease this year and wants to leave in April with prorating his last month. Can I hold him responsible for full year, since the original contract was a year to year to year lease? Do I have to prorate final month?
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Dear I had a tenant with a yearly lease?
When the lease expired and the tenant held over and you accepted rent, your tenant became a month to month tenant, and New York Real Property Law section 232-c does not allow you to deem the lease is renewed for another one year term. The "good news" is that there is no right to pro-rate rent, as the rent for the entire month is due on the first day of the month.
"*** § 232-c. Holding over by a tenant after expiration of a term longer than one month; effect of acceptance of rent. Where a tenant whose term is longer than one month holds over after the expiration of such term, such holding over shall not give to the landlord the option to hold the tenant for a new term solely by virtue of the tenant's holding over. In the case of such a holding over by the tenant, the landlord may proceed, in any manner permitted by law, to remove the tenant, or, if the landlord shall accept rent for any period subsequent to the expiration of such term, then, unless an agreement either express or implied is made providing otherwise, the tenancy created by the acceptance of such rent shall be a tenancy from month to month commencing on the first day after the expiration of such term.***"
So you do not have to prorate the final month, but if experience teaches lessons, as soon as your departing tenant hears that he would owe the entire month and you have no legal obligation to pro-rate, then it is not likely he will pay you anything at all.
The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
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Real Estate Attorney
No there is no pro-rating of the rent. The tenant became a month to month tenant at the end of the lease term and is liable for a full month of rent each month that he stays. He must give you 30 days notice before vacating and owes for the entire month even if he vacates on the 2nd day of the term.
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