Should a rental agreement specify that tenant must stay a minimum of 30 days?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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Should a rental agreement specify that tenant must stay a minimum of 30 days?

I’m preparing a month-to-month rental agreement for a room I’m renting in my house. I’m wondering if it’s a good idea to specify that the tenant must stay at least one month/30 consecutive days (so it is clearly a non-transient rental). Also, I’ve had a tenant pay her 1st month’s rent and then leave a note and move out on the 2nd day of the month. I’m considering including that if a tenant gives notice but moves out before the end of the month, they’re still responsible for the full month’s rent (however, the landlords may re-rent the room and refund a pro-rated portion of the rent). Reasonable?

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I see your point of needing some security of a minimum stay of 30 days in a rental. however, under the laws of most states in this country, if a tenant gives the required written notice to vacate, the landlord is obligated to pro-rate a tenant's rent.

Meaning, if a tenant pays for a month in advance, but gives 30 days notice to vacate to the landlord the following week, the tenant should only be required to pay for one week's rent for the following month.

My assessment is that if you do not give pro-rated rent after written notice of termination by a tenant, you might be exposing yourself to civil liability.

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