What Does The Term "Last Month's Rent" Really Mean?

Feb 6 01:07 2005 dan the roommate man Print This Article


After fives years in a rental house, I have been given a 30 day notice to vacate the premises. This was done mid-month after I paid and the property manager cashed my check for the current month of rent. I also paid "last month" rent when I initially rented this place, plus a security deposit. Since I have paid and the property manager has accepted rent for the next 45 days, is it still possible to be given the 30 day notice mid-cycle? And what becomes of the last month rent which is in addition to the security deposit?


Yours is a common question,Guest Posting but unfortunately, one without a common answer.

Never a thoughtless one, I do have a few thoughts to offer. When you prepay a last month's rent, and it is clearly labeled as such, you are paid up for that last month -- whenever it is, even if the rent has gone up in the meantime. You could say that every time the landlord accepts a monthly rent check, he or she acknowledges that you have another month in the proverbial housing kitty.

You could argue that since accepting rent nullifies a 30 day notice, the notice can't expire when you are still paid up. In other words, you would have until the end of the second month before the period expired. And you might even argue that the notice is totally nullified when, on the 30th day, the landlord still has remaining rent money.

Here's what your arguing lips are likely to be up against: Your landlord might contend that the last month's rent is simply refundable, and doesn't have a darn thing to do with the timing of a 30-day notice. He or she will want to refund a prorated share of that last month's rent when the 30 days expires. There may be some authority for that view, if you're in a state that considers all prepaid sums to be refundable. In these states, you can expect a landlord to argue that since the law defines security deposit to include last month's rent, it's all a security deposit, anyway

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dan the roommate man
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