Ask the Attorney: No Need to Prorate the Rent

AttorneyThe Landlord Protection Agency® presents John Reno, Esq., a highly experienced Landlord – Tenant attorney based on Long Island, NY.

Q:  Dear Mr. Reno:
I am very new to the whole landlord game and recently chose not to renew a lease for a problematic tenant. I informed them well over 30 days in advance that I would not renew their lease and they actually moved out a couple of weeks afterwards. I went through the house after they left and it was absolutely filthy. I documented EVERYTHING with photos in addition to descriptive notes. After I tallied up all the damages (using the LPA settlement guide), I withheld their deposit and sent them a bill for the damages. They got the bill, refused to pay and said they would see me in court. I had originally prorated the rent for the month since they vacated so quickly, but now that I will be taking them to court, can I actually charge them for the full months rent even though on the original security deposit statement I prorated it? I still have not been able to get the house rented due to the amount of damages there were (I’m still working on the house). Please advise! Thank you for your time!
Jess Stone

A: Yes, charge the whole month. Like I just said to Mary, you have no obligation to prorate. Now it is true, some small claims judge don’t follow the law & prorate anyway, but that’s another story- don’t get me started!

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