If I gave 30 days notice instead of 60 days due circumstances beyond my control, can the landlord make me pay?

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If I gave 30 days notice instead of 60 days due circumstances beyond my control, can the landlord make me pay?

I am getting married 09/18 so I wanted to add my fiance to the lease before I signed for the lease renewal. My lease expires at the end of September. 08/31 I submitted an application for my fiance but they denied him the next day because he had some felony charge from 9 years ago. They won’t let him to live there. So I had to give a 30-day notice to the apartment complex on 09/03 saying I will move out by 10/03. My lease agreement says that I have to give 60-days notice but this is an unusual circumstance. Now they ask me to pay a pro-rated rent from 10/03 – 11/03. What happens if I don’t pay that?

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

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.  Your landlord cannot let the premises remain vacant during that additional period without making reasonable efforts to attempt to rent the premises.  Your landlord would be required to mitigate (minimize) damages by attempting to rent the premises during the period in question.  If the place is rented during that 30 day period, your obligation to pay rent for that time would cease.  However, if the landlord rented the place for less than you were paying, you would still be liable for the difference in rent during the 30 day period in question.  If the landlord rents the place for the rate you were paying before the entire 30 day period has elapsed, you would only be liable for a pro-rated amount.  In other words, if for example, the place is rented on day 16 of that 30 day period, your rent obligation would only be for the first 15 days.  If you don't pay what is owed, the landlord could sue you for the amount owed.  If there was a judgment against you which you didn't pay, the landlord could enforce the judgment by a wage garnishment. 


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