In California, if a landlord returned the security deposit but forgot to collect the last month’s rent, does the landlord have the right to sue the tenant if the tenant refused to pay?

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In California, if a landlord returned the security deposit but forgot to collect the last month’s rent, does the landlord have the right to sue the tenant if the tenant refused to pay?

Full security deposit was returned. Landlord forgot to collect last month’s
prorated rent. When landlord ask the tenant to pay, they refused.

Asked on January 23, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the landord may sue for unpaid rent. While the landord could have taken it out of the security deposit, returning the deposit does not give up the landlord's right to the money or to sue if not paid. The landlord would sue for "breach of contract"--for violating the lease (which is a contract) obligation to pay rent.


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