Source: Renter's Rights, The Basics-2nd Edition

By Attorney Janet Portman & Marcia Stewart

#1 Never leave without giving legal (written) notice. You'll be liable for @ least a month's rent (IF you have a (written) rental agreement) and perhaps several months rent (IF you have a lot of time remaining on a Lease (or written agreement). @ the very least, you can kiss your deposit goodby.

#2 Never stay on after your Lease (or written agreement) has expired without signing a new rental document. You may think that your Lease (or written agreement) self-renews, but in most states it does not, it simply changes to a month to month tenancy. This puts you in a precarious position if you want to stay for a while.

#3 Never prepare to move without understanding your Landlord's rules for cleaning up and get them in writing. Not only will you not know what is required, but your Landlord will have a golden opportunity to change the standards AFTER you have done all the work.

#4 Never expect the Landlord to use the Security Deposit for the last month's rent unless he/she agrees. In some states, there are significant penalties for this ploy.

Tip from Crossett R.E. Services

Make sure you have a written agreement to occupy the property with all terms & understandings agreed by all parties to the contract regardless whether month to month/6 months or years.

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This web page was updated on 03/03/2004.