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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Hope you can help me; i'm a first time visitor!

My property is in the Utah, i'm residing in UK. My tenants were on a 12 month lease, and had paid first and last month's rent, plus $1,000 security deposit (all standard lease terms).

8 months into their tenancy, their circumstances changed and they moved out, without informing me. Rent was paid that month, so I didn't realise for 6 weeks until I started to receive the utility bills! I finally tracked them down and we reached an agreement that I would try to re-rent the property and they would be responsible for rent until that happened.

I flew out to the US and visited the condo during this time. It was in slightly below average condition and i did have to replace several items (it's fully furnished) and cleaning was not up to standard. If i hadn't been there, it certainly required a professional clean.

After 3 months of vacancy (during which time they paid rent - but always late after i chased them) I have now secured a new tenant and informed the previous tenant right away that our contract is now terminated. (They had 1 month and 3 weeks left in their tenancy).

He is now requesting that I pay him back the full last month's rent and security deposit. After all the inconvenience, costs, and the value of my time spent, I believe this is unfair. I've poured over our lease and I can subtract 'all costs incurred to advertise, restore and re-rent'. I believe this will add up to around the amount of the security deposit. Nothing states whether last month's rent is un/refundable.

2 main questions:
1. Can he claim that last month back?
2. Lease also states if rent is 3 days late, 'tenant shall pay a late fee of 8%'. Rent was this late EVERY month and I never charged him. With proof of transaction dates, can i go back and charge him late fees now?

Sorry for long email. I relly hope someone can help.

Many thanks!                                

Posts: 3,794
Reply with quote  #2 
Didn't I already answer this?  Or maybe it just sounds familiar...

1. Can he claim that last month back?
A:  Absolutely.  Unless you used that for one of the months of rent while it was vacant, he is entitled to that rent back.  You have secured another tenant who will pay for that month of rent.  You cannot double dip (collect 2 rents for the same period for the same unit).  This is rent money, not a deposit.  Return the rent for the month that will be paid for by the new tenant.  Subtract the repairs and advertising costs from his deposit, itemize these in a written statement, and send it to him within the time allowed by your state.

2. Lease also states if rent is 3 days late, 'tenant shall pay a late fee of 8%'. Rent was this late EVERY month and I never charged him. With proof of transaction dates, can i go back and charge him late fees now?
A:  If you did not enforce this while he was living there, you can't retroactovely enforce it now.  So if you didn't try to collect these late fees then, you will be deemed to have waived them.  Sorry.

Posts: 58
Reply with quote  #3 

The Rent Rite Directory offers a free Rental History database to Property Managers and Owners that allows members to input as well as search evictions (before they hit public record), tenants who skip out on rent/collections, proxy renters (those who rent on behalf of unauthorized tenants ie: drug dealers, sex offenders, convicted felons), those who commit lease violations, property damage, and on-property crime. Please help share information with other Real Estate Professionals. 

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