Whatareour rights if the landlord let a new tenant move in beforeourlease was up andwe’ve paid the rent for the month?

We are still on the lease until the end of the month. The landlord let the new tenants move in a couple days early. We are still on the lease and they haven’t signed their lease yet. What can we do?

Asked on October 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, the landlord cannot give anyone else possession of the premises so long as you have possession. It doesn't matter if you have moved out:  if your term of possession is not up (still on lease until end of month; paid rent for the month), it's still your apartment, not the new tenants. You may be able to sue the landlord to recover the pro rata share of your rent (i.e. the rent for the time the new tenants have been in). Depending on the amount of money that would come to, it may not be worthwhile, in terms of cost or effort to do so, but that's a different story. If more time was involved and you wanted possession of the apartment for some reason, you could also seek a court order getting the new tenants out while it's still your lease term, though it's impossible to see that as worthwhile under the circumstances.


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