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What Amount of Rent Do I Owe for July Rent, Utilities

Discussion in 'Roomate & Joint Leases' started by LawLore, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. LawLore

    LawLore Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Rhode Island

    I moved into an apartment in September 2014 to help my sister with rent because her gf moved out. The total rent for my sister was $1,000 and I agreed to pay half of that ($500). I didn't sign a lease and there is no documentation that I signed when I moved in. I paid a security deposit of $500. I spoke with the landlord and she agreed that I can pay her separately each month and so I did and have all the rent receipts. Then in January, my sister brought her friend to live with us and we each paid separately $333/month. But the other roommate didn't pay a security deposit. My sister moved out June 1st to live with her gf. Then I paid $500 for June rent and don't know if my roommate paid the other $500. My roommate left me a note on the stove on June 9th, stating that she will be moving in 2 weeks. She then moved out on June 20th, 11 days later. I spoke with my landlord and she said that the roommate didn't pay for rent for June, and wants me to move out July 1st, and that if she has to clean up for my 2 roommates and if there are damages resulting from them that she will be using my security deposit. She also threatened to take me to court if I don't leave by July 1st. She hasn't given me a 30 day written notice to quit and is asking I pay her $1,000 if I want to live here in July. I didn't agree to $1,000. We had a verbal rental agreement with other roommates. Can I pay her $500 for July and tell her that I will be moving out August 1st? Thanks for your help all
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I can't tell you what you can and cannot do. I don't know all the facts. I'll also say that the only way to get actionable legal advice is to have a proper legal consultation with a landlord tenant attorney. It probably isn't worth the cost so I'll discuss it informally.

    You appear to have a month to month lease and know that the landlord must give you a month's prior notice to move out. This appears to be Rhode Island Law to terminate Month to Month Agreements

    § 34-18-37 Termination of periodic tenancy. – (a) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a week-to-week tenancy by a written notice, in a form substantially similar to that provided in § 34-18-56(c), delivered to the other at least ten (10) days before the termination date specified in the notice.

    (b) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy or any periodic tenancy for more than a month or less than a year by a written notice, in a form substantially similar to that provided in § 34-18-56(c), delivered to the other at least thirty (30) days before the date specified in the notice.

    (c) The landlord or tenant may terminate a year-to-year tenancy by written notice, in a form substantially similar to that provided in § 34-18-56(c), delivered to the other at least three (3) months prior to the expiration of the occupation year.

    No notice has been provided. You can always provide the landlord with written notice of termination and state that you plan to be out at the end of July. If the landlord locks you out, in my opinion, the landlord may have problems with an illegal lockout. I do not know what kind of damages the landlord claims occurred or how the landlord would know. Some tenants will not pay the last month's rent and leave, forfeiting the security deposit. This is because it is clear that, even if there is no damage or reason for the landlord to withhold an amount from the security deposit, the landlord clearly has no intentions of returning any of the money. I can't tell you what to do but this is what frequently happens and landlords don't bother coming after the tenant unless there actually is damage (which is why some landlords will require 2 months security deposit for a lease.) But legally, you should continue to pay rent and receive your security deposit back at the end of the lease term. Good luck.
  3. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    The landlord is owed $1000 for every month the unit is occupied. How those living there opt to come up with the money is not the landlord's concern. Accepting separate checks which total $1000 is not the same as saying you only owe for a fraction of the full rent.

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