Can a landlord require me to maintain utilities at the property after I moved out?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can a landlord require me to maintain utilities at the property after I moved out?

I had a lease that ended the end of last month. I told my landlord I would be moving out on the 16th, however he stated the lease had a 45 day notice required, so we paid rent through the 23rd of this month despite moving out. He is also requiring that we continue to maintain the lawn and utilities and says that he has 30 days from the end of the lease to return any portion of the deposit, even though everything I have read says 30 days from moving out. This is all challenging because we moved out of state. Can he require that we keep paying the utilities and hold our deposit for more than 30 days after we actually moved out?

Asked on August 7, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Once your lease--or in this case, the lease's notice period--is over, you are no longer resposible for anything concerning the property, including the utilities.
2) The security deposit must be returned 30 days after the legal or lawful termination of your tenancy and vacation of your tenancy. Since you adhered to the 45 day notice period and properly terminated your lease, you are correct: it should be returned within 30 days of you moving out.
If the landlord charges you for things he should not, or will not return the deposit when he should, you could sue him for the money. Unfortunately, if you have moved out of state, that may be difficult and expensive for you.
On the other hand, if the landlord asks you to pay utility or other bills and you refuse to do so, he has no good way to get the money from you, since again, suing may be difficult and expensive for him. 

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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