If I never renewed my lease and gave my landlord a 15 day notice to vacate, can they come back after me for a full month’s rent?

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If I never renewed my lease and gave my landlord a 15 day notice to vacate, can they come back after me for a full month’s rent?

I lived at my apartment complex for 2 years and always on time and up to date on my rent. I lost my job and exhausted my unemployment benefits. I went into my complex office and explained my situation and gave a 15 day notice to vacate. I did not sign a new lease. They are claiming I owe them in full  for this month, yet the leasing agent told me that as long as I was out by the 5th my rent would be pro-rated. Can they do this. I was also told that my carpet cleaning would only be $65 and they charged me $l45 What should I do?

Asked on October 27, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if your lease was up and you were still living there, you were a month to month tenant. A month to month tenant must give 30 days notice to terminate the tenancy; if he or she does not, he or she can be held liable for rent for the full notice period (i.e. for a month's rent). It may be that if the leasing agent told you you'd get the pro rated rent back and you only went ahead with terminating on 15 days notice because of that, that you can hold them to that representation or promise; but since the law is that normally you'd need 30 days notice, it would be an uphill battle, especially if the leasing agent now denies having told you this.

As for carpet cleaning: normally, tenants don't pay for carpet cleaning, unless either they caused an unusual or severe stain (e.g. red wine, pet urine, etc.) or their lease said they'd have to pay. If the tenant has to pay, he or she has to pay whatever the cost is.


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