Can a landlord increase the amount of money due them upon termination once an amount was palready mailed and the tenants have already moved out?

UPDATED: Dec 9, 2011

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Can a landlord increase the amount of money due them upon termination once an amount was palready mailed and the tenants have already moved out?

My roommate and I recently had to break our lease. Our landlord informed us we only owed $1500 for breaking the lease which did not include the rent for the last 3 weeks we were in the apartment. We paid the $1000 and waited to see how much the cost to clean the apartment was and how our deposit would be applied to it. We received a bill for about $350. A few days later they sent us an amended bill claiming we now owe over $900 to include the final 3 weeks rent. We have already been out of the apartment for over a month before relaying this new cost is that legal? Can they raise the amount we owe because they made a mistake even though they already sent us a signed statement?

Asked on December 9, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your former landlord can increase the amount claimed due by you and your former roommate post move out. Whether the increased amount claimed is allowable or not depends upon what the written lease agreement sates.

As such, I suggest that you carefully read your lease agreement in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed you by your former landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If you believe that the increased charge over the statement previously sent you is not warranted, then you should contest the bill and write the former landlord a letter setting forth your position. Keep a copy of this letter for future reference and need.

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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