Can we be charged double rentfor giving late notice?

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Can we be charged double rentfor giving late notice?

We gave 31 days notice that we were not renewing our lease. However it turns out that it was supposed to be  60 days notice. We are at fault but it’s our first apartment so this is all fairly new. But the lady informed us that we would be charged double rent for not giving timely notice. Is that even legal? And would that also mean the security deposit is going towards this?

Asked on October 10, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you did not provide proper and timely notice, then you are responsible for rent for the next 2 month rents (the 30 days that you did give notice for and the following 30 days that you did not give notice for). I assume that this is what you mean by "double rent". The reason is that since your lease requires a 60 day notice of termination of your tenancy, you would remain liable for the balance of the rent during that period for failure to give requisite notice

Note:  However,  your landlord cannot let the premises remain vacant during that additional period without making reasonable efforts to attempt to rent the premises.  This is known as "mitigation of damages".  If the premises are rented during that last 30 day period, your obligation to pay rent for that time would cease.

In FL, a security deposit normally is used to cover the costs of any damages (beyond ordinary wear and tear) or unpaid rent. At the end of the lease, the landlord has 15 days to return the money (with interest, if applicable) or notify the tenant of a claim against the security deposit for damages. If the landlord makes a claim, the tenant has 15 days to object. If the tenant does not object, the landlord may deduct the amount of the claim from the security deposit and must return the remainder to the tenant within 30 days (from the date of the notice of the claim). Any unsettled dispute the landlord and tenant may have as to damages can be resolved in court.


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