Inadequate notice can be costly

Mailbag

June 28, 1998

Dear Mr. Azrael:

I have tenants who have given me only two weeks' notice to leave my rental unit. My rental agreement requires 30 days' written notice for a month-to-month lease.

Rent is due on the first of the month. They stayed in the rental until the fourth of the month before moving. They did not pay rent for that month.

My question is, can I charge them for the full month's rent and deduct that amount from their security deposit? There is no provision in my rental agreement for prorated rent.

Mark Kieffer

Baltimore

Dear Mr. Kieffer:

A tenant is required to give at least 30 days' notice to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. Your tenant failed to give sufficient termination notice.

What's more, the tenant occupied the rented premises for a portion (four days) of a month before moving. The tenant is liable for the full month's rent, as the rent is due on the first day of the month, without apportionment.

Under the circumstances you present, you may charge the tenant the full month's rent.

You can deduct the rent from the tenant's security deposit, provided that you comply fully with the notice and other requirements of Maryland's security deposit law.

Pub Date: 6/28/98

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