Can a landlord charge damages an extra months rent keep deposit after failure to give 30 day notice?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a landlord charge damages an extra months rent keep deposit after failure to give 30 day notice?

Hello, I moved out of my old apartment
on May, 31st. The apartment was left in
a better condition than when I moved
in. My fiance says she gave a verbal
notice 30 days earlier, but we did fail
to give a written notice. A few days
ago, after July, 1st, they sent a list
saying that we owed 891 because of
damages to the apartment, and 575 in
rent for the month of June. They stated
that we had to pay rent for June
because we did not give a written
notice. Meanwhile, they knew we had
left because they cleaned out the
apartment on June 1st. They also said
we had forfeited our 500 deposit
because we didn’t pay the rent, which
we didn’t know about until way after
the fact. Do we have any recourse or
should we go ahead and pay?

Asked on July 13, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) It doesn't matter if the landlord "knew" that you moved out: if you didn't provide notice of moving, they can get the extra month rent. And while oral notice *can* be sufficient IF there is no written lease, with a written lease, the notice would have to be in writing--and even if there was only an oral (or unwritten lease), proving you gave oral notice can be very difficult if the landlord disputes it.
2) The landlord can charge you for damage that is not or which exceeds normal "wear and tear," but if you dispute it in court, would have to prove it. You are only liable for proven non-wear and tear damage.
3) The landlord may withhold part or all of the deposit and apply it against any amounts owed as per 1) or 2) above.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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