AgentRentals

Rent obligation rules for early move-out

Rent it Right

Q: I was renting month-to-month and decided to move in with my girlfriend. I gave written notice mid-month, which included an acknowledgment that I'd be responsible for a pro-rata portion of rent into the next month. But when I spoke with the manager, he assured me that my responsibility for rent would end with the current calendar month.

He repeated this when I saw him again. Based on this, I hurried up and left the unit, empty and spotless, at the end of the month; and I began my new rental two weeks earlier than planned.

Then I got an email from the manager, who had spoken with the owner, saying "it turns out" that his understanding of my rent obligation was wrong -- I would indeed be charged for rent into the next month. Is this legal? --David G.

A: The property manager is your landlord's legal agent when he handles the duties that he was hired to do. The owner (known in legalese as the "principal&q...