Can a landlord charge rent indefinitely because of an insufficient move-out notice?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a landlord charge rent indefinitely because of an insufficient move-out notice?

I have an apartment lease that will expire in a month. I just recently gave notice to the landlord that I will move out on the day the lease expires. However, because I didn’t not give a 60 day notice, the landlord says they would have to charge me rent until the apartment is rented by someone else. That is, after my lease is over and I move out, if they can’t rent the apartment in the following month, then they will charge me that month’s rent, and so on. That just sounds absurd to me. But is it legal?

Asked on May 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord may not do this. If the lease provided that you could move out on 60-day notice, then the most the landlord can hold you liable for is for the full notice period. For example, if you gave insufficient notice, the landlord can hold your financially responsible for the 60 days you should have given. Or if the lease does not permit you to leave on notice--and most leases don't--then be aware you may be held liable for the full remaining balance of the lease term. That is, if the lease did not itself provide that you could terminate it early by giving, say, 60 days notice, the lease will be in force, and you will have to pay rent, until it expires. So in this case, if there were 6 months left, you could be liable for all 6 months. In this case, though, the landlord has to make good faith efforts to re-rent the premises, and if the landlord can re-rent, once its re-rented, you no longer have to pay, even if there is still time left on your lease.  However, again, the most you could be held liable for is the remaining lease term--not indefinitely.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption