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Can my landlord charge me a month's rent for staying several hours past the end of my lease end date?

Watertown, MA |

I have a dilemma. My current lease ends on July 31st and my new one (at another location) begins on August 1st. There are tenants in the apartment which I will move into who intends on spending the night of the 31st- which allows me to move in on the morning of August 1st. However, my landlord says if I occupy the apartment past midnight of the 31st, he will charge me 1 month's rent. I only asked if he would allow me until 10am to move out on the first. He refused.

Is this legal for him to charge me for a whole month if I need just until 10am the morning of the 1st?

I can understand if he charged me for the day...but for a whole month?!? That sounds crazy.

Please advise.

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Attorney answers 1


While I am not licensed to practice law in your State, it appears to me that what we are dealing with here is the issue of "damages" incurred by the landlord as a result of your failure to timely vacate the premises in accordance with the Lease Agreement. The first thing I would do is go back and read the Lease Agreement itself. There may be a provision which sets forth the specific rights and obligations of the parties in the event you fail to timely vacate. If the agreement states that the lease automatically renews for 30 days you could be on the hook. If there is no such language, then you need to look into the attendant circumstances. If the Landlord had agreed to re-let the premises to new tenants who could not take possession and had to make other arrangements until the 1st of September, you could be responsible for the entire month's rent. However, if the Lease is silent on this issue, and there was not another tenant waiting to take possession, I think you are in a better position to argue that you should be responsible for 1/31 (August is 31 days) of the month's rent.

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