Question: Real Estate- California

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Question: Real Estate- California

I am a landlord and called a tenant that has a one yr lease to see if they wanted to end the lease one month early. They stated that they probably couldn’t. I never heard from them again until I received their “last months rent”. This was 2 months before the lease was to end. I ended up keeping their deposit for one of the months rent and letting them off for the last month as I had initially asked. They are now taking me to small claims for the return of the deposit. What are my legal rights?

Asked on June 30, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can counter sue them for the two month's rent.  If in fact there as damage to the apartment or they did not leave it as they were supposed to in the lease (usually "broom clean") then bring proof (pictures, receipts for repair, etc.).  Your asking if they wanted to leave early means nothing.  They said no.  You had a reasonable expectation that they would stay until the end of their lease and you would be paid rent.  Stand your ground.   


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