AmI required to return rent money ifmy tenantshad a 1 year lease and left before their finalmonth was up?

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AmI required to return rent money ifmy tenantshad a 1 year lease and left before their finalmonth was up?

The utilities were transferred over to me mid-month.

Asked on August 5, 2011 Maine

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You don't have to return the rent money because the tenants remain liable for the rent for the balance of the term of the lease.  However, if the place is re-rented before the end of the lease, that terminates the tenants' obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term.  In that situation, you would have to return the rent money covering the period from the date of re-renting to the ending date of the lease with the former tenants.  When the tenant moves out before the end of the lease, the landlord is required to make reasonable efforts to re-rent the premises and not allow it to remain vacant for the balance of the term of the lease or the landlord's damages will be reduced accordingly.  In your situation, since only a few weeks remain in the term of the lease, it is unreasonable to expect that you would be able to find another tenant so soon.


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