Can my landlord make me pay a whole months rent for only being here for5 more days?

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Can my landlord make me pay a whole months rent for only being here for5 more days?

My husband is in the Air Force and we have orders to move to another state. I called my landlord as soon as I found out but he didn’t call me back for a few more days. He told me I have to pay a whole months rent for only being here five more days and that he was gonna keep our deposit and we would possibly owe him more than that. Can he do that?

Asked on February 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

Glenn M. Lyon, Esq. / MacGregor Lyon, LLC.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If it qualifies, you may have the right to terminate the lease without or with a smaller penalty due to the deployment of your husband.

Under Section 535 of the Service Member Civil Relief Act, a military member has the right to terminate a lease, if, after signing the lease: the tenant enters military service (which includes a reservist being called to active duty); or the tenant signs the lease while in military service, and then receives military orders for a PCS move, or to deploy, or as an individual in support of a military operation, with a military unit for a period of not less than 90 days.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord can absolutely do that. If you have a lease with your landlord, two things can happen. Either your landlord will allow you to surrender your lease without any penalty and give most of your security deposit back minus any repair or cleaning fees. Or, the more likely event is you are responsible for the rent owed for the rest of your lease even if you don't live there. Your landlord is not off the hook and must mitigate his damages by working on obtaining a new tenant. Once that occurs, then you are off the hook. That is why most landlords will simply begin deducting rent owed from your security until more is needed because the security has been exhausted.


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