If a tenant pays for a whole month, can their lanlord insist that they vacate earlier?

My husband and I had turned in our notice that our last day would be the 12th of this month. Mid-month of last month we asked to switch to a month-to month until we could get into a house. The woman agreed to it and told us our new rent. On the 2nd of this month we paid our rent by check and they cashed it. They called us today and asked where our keys were because we were supposed to be out. That they never gave us a month-to-month contract to sign, yet we gave the the $1,400 check for the whole month. They want us out by the end of this week. Can they do this?

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you paid for the whole month, you should be entitled to possession of the premises for the entire month. They should not be able to evict you or force you out when they took the rent for the entire month. (Obviously, it would be different if you had only paid the pro rata share until the 12th and they accepted that; that would have ratified the 12th as the proper end date, after notice, of your tenancy, and since you had only paid until the 12th and noticed for the 12th, they could have gotten you out then.)

If the landlord wants you out earlier than month end, they are free to offer you something for that--e.g. to return the rent for the balance of the month, or even to offer you something above and beyond that, to induce you to agree to leave.

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