Are we obliged to pay last months if we moved out early and our landlord re-took possession?

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Are we obliged to pay last months if we moved out early and our landlord re-took possession?

He took over our condo after we moved out early. Even though our lease is not up he started renovating it to be able to get double rent (his admission). We are paid through the 1st of next month but have refused to pay the final month because he took possession. Can he just take it over because we are not physically there and then expect us to pay the rent? What if we decided to go back to the condo? We would have the right because we have a lease but he has ripped out all the carpet and begun renovations. We feel he has breached the lease thus giving us the right to not pay the final month.

Asked on December 28, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You moved out early so you breached the contract first. This is straight breach or anticipatory repudiation. Ultimately, if you only had one month left on the lease and you moved out early, your landlord should be able to use the security deposit as an offset to your last month's rent and of course subtract fees from there for items like repairs and or cleaning. You are still obligated to pay but if your security deposit was not enough to cover the last month, you may wind up owing more money.


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