What to do if a tenant moved out before the end of their lease and proper notice was not given?

UPDATED: Jun 18, 2011

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What to do if a tenant moved out before the end of their lease and proper notice was not given?

Tenant has refused to pay for this month’s rent. States she gave notice to vacate and no longer lives at property. Upon inspection property is still furnished. Tenant has refused to return phone calls. Water company states the water has been turned off. A 45 day written notice required to vacate before leaving; lease doesn’t expire for another 5 months.

Asked on June 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract; it binds both parties, and if one party breaches or violates it, the other party may sue. In this case, if 45-day written notice is required to vacate, then once written notice is received--if it is received--then the 45-day countdown clock starts running; until 45-days after written notice is received have passed, the tenant must pay rent, up to a maximum of the remaining term of the lease. If this tenant never provided written notice, she is therefore still liable for rent. You may sue her for the money she'll owe you under the lease, and/or apply her security deposit vs. any rent which has come due and not been paid.

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