Are we legally responsible to pay an apartment complex that madea mistake in computing a prorated amount of rent?

UPDATED: Nov 18, 2011

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Are we legally responsible to pay an apartment complex that madea mistake in computing a prorated amount of rent?

We recently moved out of our apartment and the apartment complex charged us a prorated amount since we moved out mid-month. Now that we are out they are saying the office staff made a mistake and put in the incorrect prorated amount; we owe more money. We are not getting our deposit back and we still owe. We have a 30-day notice with the original amount but they are saying it is not a legal document and we still owe the money. Are we legally responsible to pay?

Asked on November 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If there was a unilateral as opposed to a mutual mistake concerning the pro-ration of your amount of rent upon move out, ordinarily the tenant is not responsible for the mistake by the landlord if the tenant did not know there was a mistake at the time it happened with respect to the rent issue.

If the landlord refuses to give you back your security deposit due to a rental issue, ordinarily security deposits and rent issues are separate and distinct from each other.

I would write the landlord's agent a demand letter requesting the return of your money within a set time. If not provided, your recourse would be small claims court.

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