What to do if a lease isn’t prorated as agreed?

UPDATED: Feb 25, 2011

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What to do if a lease isn’t prorated as agreed?

My 1 year lease was expired on the 03/01. Our rental agency told us that if we found a house and moved out earlier they were going to prorate the rent for the month of February. However, after we moved out they said that the owner wasn’t going to prorate after all.

Asked on February 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

An agreement can be enforced. However, if the owner never was party to the agreement, only the rental agency, you could not enforce it against the owner--you can't bind party B to an agreement because of something party A said. You could only enforce it against the rental agency (e.g. make them reimburse you).

However, if you have nothing in writing, this could be very tricky. While oral or verbal agreements can be enforced, it can be difficult, if the parties to the agreement disagree, to prove exactly what its terms were, or even if it was made. As a practical matter, if you all you have is something the rental agency allegedly told you at some point, you may need to accept the extra cost (the additional, nonprorated rent)--it mightnot be possible to recover compensation in court without more evidence of an enforceable agreement.

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