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Landlord demanding full month rent for partial days

On Lawyer & Legal » Real Estate & Property Law

9,699 words with 14 Comments; publish: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 18:20:00 GMT; (80093.75, « »)

Hi there, I'm a Texas tenant and have been in recent dispute with my landlord. I signed a month to month lease agreement back in July the 1st for $500 a month. In the agreement, it says I need to give the landlord at least 30days notice before vacating/ terminating the lease. I gave her notice on October the 6th and she acknowledged that my last day would be November the 6th. The problem is, she is demanding the full $500 for the month of November even though I will be staying until November the 6th of the final day. No where in the agreement does it stipulate that I have to pay full months rent for partial days unless I overstayed at the demised premise after the lease expiration.

As well, I have pulled out the Texas property code and it states that:

A monthly tenancy or a tenancy from month to month may be terminated by the tenant or the landlord giving notice of termination to the other.

(d) If a tenancy terminates on a day that does not correspond to the beginning or end of a rent-paying period, the tenant is liable for rent only up to the date of termination.

I have paid her for the 6 days of November ($100) which she accepted, but she has sent me a demand letter requesting the full month rent of $500. Can she do this to me?

Thank you very much for your help!

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  • 14 Comments
    • There is nothing in that lease that is giong to supercede the state code. You need only pay the prorated rent for the six days that you are going over. The $500 is per month, and you're not staying a month, therefore the rent is less than $500. You gave the proper notice and you landlord knew in advance what the surrender date was going to be. This allows the landlord to rent the apartment from that date forward, if the landlord collects your entire $500 then he can't rent the place until the end of the month. He can't double-dip the system and charge you the rent for the month and another tenant for the rent for the same month.
      #1; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 13:07:00 GMT
    • If you are a mtm tenant, the rent is usually a month's rent...duh! You are unclear about the stip: Clearly the LL accepted your vacation on the 6th but did he accept your surrender of the premises too on that date? There is a difference between acknowledging you are leaving the premises and accepting surrender. What precisely does the stipulation state?
      #2; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 08:25:00 GMT
    • Well, if the statute you paraphrased and reenzz quoted are the controlling statutes...and there are no other statutes governing notice and prorated rent...then I am wrong. What I gave is common law (and WI law). In other words, if you can find no statutes regarding notice and proration other than 91.001, you have given adequate notice and owe no additional rent.
      #3; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 15:14:00 GMT
    • Thanks for the response guys! Below is the lease agreement word for word:

      BY THIS AGREEMENT made and entered into on JUNE 19, 2008 between LANDLORD herein referred to as lessor, and TENANT herein referred to as lessee. Lessor leases to lease the premises situated in Houston, TX for a term of ___ years, to commence on JUNE 30, 2008, and to END on ______N/A_____. 20___, at 2:00 PM.

      1. Rent. Lessee agrees to pay, without demand to Lessor as rent for the demised premises the sum of $500 per month in advance on the 1st day of each calender month beginning July 1, 2008 at Houston TX.

      2. Form of Payment

      3. Late Payment

      4. Returned Checks

      5. Security Deposit

      6. Quiet Enjoyment

      7. Use of Premises

      8. Number of Occupants

      9. Keys

      11. Locks

      12. Lockout

      Etc, etc, etc...

      25. Rules and Regulations. Lessor's existing rules and regulations, if any, shall be signed by Lessee, attached to this agreement and incorporated into it. Lessor may adobt other rules and regulations at a later time provided that they have a legitimate purpose, not modify Lessee's rights substantially and not become effective without notice of at least 2 weeks.

      26. Talks about Liens

      27. Holdover by Lessee. Should Lessee remain in possession of demised premises with the consent of Lessor after the natural expiration of this lease, a new month-to-month tenancy shall be created between Lessor and Lessee which shall be subject to all the terms and conditions hereof but shall be terminated on 30 days written notice served by either Lessor or Lessee on the other party.

      28. Notice of Intent to Vacate. [This paragraph applies only when the Agreement is or has become a month-to-month Agreement]. Lessor shall advise Lessee of any changes in terms of tenancy with advance notice of at least 30 days. Changes may include notices of termination, rent adjustments or other reasonable changes in the terms of this Agreement.

      29. Surrender of Premises. At the expiration of the lease term, Lessee shall quit and surrender the premises hereby demised in as good state and condition as they were at the commencement of this lease, reasonable use and wear thereof and damages by the elements excepted.

      30. Default

      31. Binding Effect

      33. Radon Gas Disclosure

      34. Lead paint Disclosure

      35. Severability

      What do you guys think? That's the entire lease agreement. Does this agreement supersede the property code?

      #4; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 11:04:00 GMT
    • I will have to check on that.

      Well unless the lease specifies otherwise, it appears you are in the right.

      #5; Tue, 18 Nov 2008 19:44:00 GMT
    • Well thank goodness for Texas. The landlord cannot collect for what is not used. I don't care what you signed as a rental agreement. Pay the 6 days and tell the criminal that if he wants anymore money, convince a Judge he's entitled to it.
      #6; Tue, 18 Nov 2008 20:47:00 GMT
    • I thought the clause was just a due date and collecting in advance rather than collecting rent at the end of the month... therefore preventing loss revenue. But you bring up a good point.
      #7; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 12:36:00 GMT
    • We know it's a month-to-month tenancy. We know the statutes which possibly could apply. But we do not know the exact wording of the lease agreement which may supercede everything else.

      (e) Subsections (a), (b), (c), and (d) do not apply if:

      (1) a landlord and a tenant have agreed in an instrument signed by both parties on

      a different period of notice to terminate the tenancy or that no notice is required; or

      (2) there is a breach of contract recognized by law.

      #8; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 10:00:00 GMT
    • Sec. 91.001. Notice for Terminating Certain Tenancies.

      (a) A monthly tenancy or a tenancy from month to month may be terminated by the tenant

      or the landlord giving notice of termination to the other.

      (b) If a notice of termination is given under Subsection (a) and if the rent-paying period is

      at least one month, the tenancy terminates on whichever of the following days is the later:

      (1) the day given in the notice for termination; or

      (2) one month after the day on which the notice is given.

      (c) If a notice of termination is given under Subsection (a) and if the rent-paying period is

      less than a month, the tenancy terminates on whichever of the following days is the later:

      (1) the day given in the notice for termination; or

      (2) the day following the expiration of the period beginning on the day on which

      notice is given and extending for a number of days equal to the number of days in the rent-paying

      period.

      (d) If a tenancy terminates on a day that does not correspond to the beginning or end of a

      rent-paying period, the tenant is liable for rent only up to the date of termination.

      (e) Subsections (a), (b), (c), and (d) do not apply if:

      (1) a landlord and a tenant have agreed in an instrument signed by both parties on

      a different period of notice to terminate the tenancy or that no notice is required; or

      (2) there is a breach of contract recognized by law.

      #9; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 04:10:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      What do you guys think? That the entire lease agreement.
      "...the sum of $500 per month in advance on the 1st day..." says it all. I don't know how anyone could interpret it any differently.
      #10; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 11:17:00 GMT
    • Quote:
      === Original Words ===

      I gave her notice on October the 6th and she acknowledged that my last day would be November the 6th.

      I have paid her for the 6 days of November ($1 ) which she accepted

      'nuff said
      #11; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 12:45:00 GMT
    • Thanks so much for responses! I'm now disputing her demand letter. Cheers
      #12; Tue, 18 Nov 2008 22:27:00 GMT
    • Unless there is some other term identified in the lease, how can anyone simply infer another term? If anyone tried that on me (a judge ruling that a mtm lease only identifying a monthly rate)...that is, ruling a daily term for an overstay...I would ask why a daily term? Why not an hourly...or minutely term? Much like a whorehouse. Mind you, a well drafted lease escapes these kinds of misunderstandings.

      Glad I could help chop.

      #13; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 12:40:00 GMT
    • The thing is I have perfect credit history and worried she might assign the lease to collections. Do you think I should pay the remaining $400 to fulfill the request of the contract stating (I must pay $500 in advance on the 1st day of each month), and send her a demand letter to credit back to me the $400 (For unused days) with my deposit? I figured, this way, I will have no liability except for her. And if JohnD is right, then I have nothing to lose.
      #14; Wed, 19 Nov 2008 13:33:00 GMT