For a lease holdover, can a landlord charge whatever they choose for rent?

UPDATED: Aug 5, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

For a lease holdover, can a landlord charge whatever they choose for rent?

My husband and I just finished a 1 year leaseand gave 30 days notice of our intent to move (if notice isn’t given, the lease becomes a month-to-month lease). We were supposed to be out of this place by the end of the monthbut found out we cannot take possession of the new place until the 11th of the month. Before I continue, I will tell you that the current place has not been rented, and they just listed it for sale on the 4th of the month. They have not requested to show it to anyone. Instead of charging us pro-rata rent for the number of extra days we will actually be here this month, they want the per-day charge + an extra week for “their inability to market” the house.” Is this legal to charge someone extra rent for time they are not in the property? Is a little over a week hold-over inhibiting them from “marketing” the house?

Asked on August 5, 2011 Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written agreement with your landord regarding the term of the lease that just expired after a year, read it carefully. Its terms may control what amount of future rent will be for you since its terms state that the lease now becomnes a month-to-month lease.

There may be language in the expired lease as to requirements for a rent increase on a monthly basis and proper notice required to have any rent increase becoming effective.

The landlord most likely can charge you a pro-rated monthly rent for your extended stay at the unit. I doubt that the charge for the extra week for "inability to market the house" was agreed to in your expired lease, and if agreed to, that provision seems contrary to public policy and would most likely be invalid even if you agreed to it.

Most states have laws allowing landlords reasonable notice to enter a rented unit for various reasons, such as when the place is for sale and interested buyers want to view it. An additional week's rental of the rented unit does not prevent it from being market by the landlord.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption