Can I charge my roommate Janurary rent if they moved out 2 days before it was due?

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Can I charge my roommate Janurary rent if they moved out 2 days before it was due?

I rented 1 of my spare rooms to a friend, but 2 days before the rent was dueshe told me that she couldn’t afford it. She moved out but all her belongings are still in the room. Should I charge full rent or a storage fee for January? Plus, she has other bills she owes me as well.

Asked on January 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there is no written lease, it's an oral or verbal lease, which creates a month-to-month tenancy. Either party can end a month to month tenancy on one month's notice; that means that if someone moves out with only 2 days notice, you can hold her for the next month's rent. You may also sue her for her share of any utiliities or bills she should pay for that month; you may sue her for any back or previous bills or rent which she did not pay; and you may also apply her security deposit vs. any damage she did to the premises (or sue her for repair costs, if no deposit. You may sue in small claims court to make this more affordable. As to her belongings, you'll need to hold onto them for at least 30 days, preferably 60, AFTER having given her written notice to pick them up. If you pay to store them, you can require her to pay the storage costs. If she won't, or after the reasonable time you give her, pick them up at all, you may then sell them...but it's vital to first give her the notice and to take care of the in the interim.


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