Do I owe a reletting fee if I left giving about 2 weeks notice?

UPDATED: Mar 9, 2012

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Do I owe a reletting fee if I left giving about 2 weeks notice?

I moved out an apartment I was on a month-to-month verbal lease with that was originally a 6 month written lease. There is a re-letting fee (which was left blank on my lease) if I don’t give 30 days notice. There were many maintenance problems, the bathroom backing up every 2-3 months, particle board floor in bathroom that was rotting because of said backups, 3 gas leaks and 8 months without a working heater. On the last gas leak they flagged the entire house saying that it would need to be inspected. I left giving about 2 weeks notice but now my landlord is trying to charge me $730.

Asked on March 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If there is no reletting fee, you do not owe one; however, that said, for a month-to-month tenancy, you must provide 30 days notice. If you do not, you may be held liable for rent for the remainder of that 30 days. For example: if you gave 13 days notice, you could be held liable for another 17 days or rent.

The maintenance problems you describe are not ones which would ordinarly allow you a rent abatement (they would not impact habitability seriously enough), except for the lack of heat. If the lack of a working heater impacted the habitability of the space (such as during the winter months), if the landlord sues you for rent due to your too-short notice (which is what he'd have to do, if you don't pay it voluntarily), you could potentially claim for some rent rebate to offset any amount you owe him; or if he wrongfully withholds money from any security deposit and you sue for its return, you could also add a claim for rent abatement due to time spent without a heater. Note that his assumes that the lack of a heater did in fact impact the use and habitability of the space.

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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