Can I be charged unpaid rent when I did not have a legal lease on the apartment when I moved out?

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Can I be charged unpaid rent when I did not have a legal lease on the apartment when I moved out?

I had a lease starting on 6/1/06 thru 5/31/07 I was never given another lease to sign after the lease was expired. I moved out of the apartment on 10/30/08 with a two week notice to the landlord. I knew the apartment was dirty and I did not want my deposit back because I figured that the deposit would cover any cleaning or damages to the apartment now they want to charge me unpaid rent even though I did pay untill the end of October when I moved out and I was out by the end of October and turned in my key on 11/1/08. Thank you

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes. When a tenant holds over past the end of a lease, the lease converts to a month-to-month under the same terms (including rent) as before. Therefore, once you hold over and start a new month, you're liable for the rent for that month. However, if you paid through the end of October and were out before November started (turning in the key on 11/1/08 would count as "out" ), then they can't charge you for any period past when you in fact left.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be charged for November's rent.  You had a lease, it just was no longer a written lease.

I'm not a Colorado lawyer, but in most states, when a written lease expires and the tenant stays on, it becomes a month-to-month tenancy.  To end this unwritten lease, either side needs to give one full month's notice, with the full month starting on the day the rent is due -- and that month's rent must be paid.  Your notice in mid-October was no different in the law from if you had given notice when you moved out and turned in your key.

There may be other facts that affect this, so for advice you can rely on, you need to talk to a lawyer in your area.  One place to look for an attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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