Do I owe a reletting fee if I left giving about 2 weeks notice?

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Do I owe a reletting fee if I left giving about 2 weeks notice?

I moved out an apartment I was on a month-to-month verbal lease with that was originally a 6 month written lease. There is a re-letting fee (which was left blank on my lease) if I don’t give 30 days notice. There were many maintenance problems, the bathroom backing up every 2-3 months, particle board floor in bathroom that was rotting because of said backups, 3 gas leaks and 8 months without a working heater. On the last gas leak they flagged the entire house saying that it would need to be inspected. I left giving about 2 weeks notice but now my landlord is trying to charge me $730.

Asked on March 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there is no reletting fee, you do not owe one; however, that said, for a month-to-month tenancy, you must provide 30 days notice. If you do not, you may be held liable for rent for the remainder of that 30 days. For example: if you gave 13 days notice, you could be held liable for another 17 days or rent.

The maintenance problems you describe are not ones which would ordinarly allow you a rent abatement (they would not impact habitability seriously enough), except for the lack of heat. If the lack of a working heater impacted the habitability of the space (such as during the winter months), if the landlord sues you for rent due to your too-short notice (which is what he'd have to do, if you don't pay it voluntarily), you could potentially claim for some rent rebate to offset any amount you owe him; or if he wrongfully withholds money from any security deposit and you sue for its return, you could also add a claim for rent abatement due to time spent without a heater. Note that his assumes that the lack of a heater did in fact impact the use and habitability of the space.


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