I payed first and last rent, can I stay the last month without paying more?

I'm renting a small back house studio in California for 3 years now. Upon move in, I deposited 1st and last months rent ($1600 in total). No official rental agreements were signed. Just a form filling out my information. 

Now I have found a new apartment and I want to move in on January 17th 2020, but i need money for the deposit. 

Can I stay in my current rental for the last month without paying more? Will the landlord use the initial deposit to cover the last month's rent? 

I will talk to him soon but I'm unable to at the moment. I'm just doing my research before I talk to him. 

14 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 month ago

    So you paid for first and last month's rent before moving in?  That would have been an unusual arrangement so I wonder if you aren't remembering it correctly.  A more normal arrangement would be to pay first months rent plus a deposit (equal to one month's rent).  And if so, you can't use the deposit money for rent unless you have written permission from the landlord to do so.  And since you have no documentation proving the other month's rent was for your last month, you are already at a disadvantage.

    What to do?  Give your landlord written notice that you plan to vacate the property as required by law a full calendar month ahead of time.  For example tomorrow, then between then and the first of the month, when rent is due, discuss that original payment made when you moved in to see if it is necessary for you to pay in January.  Good Luck.

  • 1 month ago

    If both you and your landlord are reasonable folks, then the last month's rent should be applied to the last month.  Hopefully you can clarify this when you speak to him/her.  Be sure that the place is spotless before you talk.  The biggest problem I foresee is that there was no written documentation of your agreement.  Since it was 3 years ago, you might remember it as "last month's rent," but your landlord might remember it as "security deposit."  If you can show that you took good care of the place and already have it clean, there is a better chance that the landlord will let you apply the amount as true last month's rent.

    I also recommend that you not try to hold some legal argument over your landlord's head.  If it escalates into a battle, your money will be tied up even longer, and worse things could happen that would impact your ability to move (like damaged credit or eviction).

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 month ago

    [assuming you mean the whole month of January 2020 - and you give notice by Dec 31] Technically no, but many people do that. Just make sure the place is "broom clean" and has no damage caused by you. {Take pictures.)

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 month ago

    Not without trouble. You must pay rent for EVERY month you live there - separate from first, last & a security deposit, although first is applied to the first month. The last is not. Any refund due should be refunded to you by law. Give your landlord your forwarding address.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Landlord & Tenant law experience.
    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    First months rent is, for the first month you rent somewhere, and last months rent is, for the last month you plan on staying somewhere.

    Hypothetically speaking lets say you moved in on December 1 2019 then your last month rent would be the last day of January 2020.

    I think you can stay until the end of January without paying more. Your landlord might want you to move out before the end of the month, so you should speak with him to find out which day is best.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The money collected for first and last month's rent is not considered a deposit. If agreement, does not specifically state how tenants should apply their last month's rent, then it is up to tenants to communicate with their landlord on how to use it. It is a good idea to send a letter the month you vacate asking your landlord to apply your last month's rent. Keep in mind though that rent may be due by the first and tenants are required to give notice to vacate until at least 20 days before the end of the rental period.

    Source(s): Tenant rights professional
    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      In some states the "last month's rent" must be handled EXACTLY like a deposit, including annual statement of any accrued interest, etc., until it is applied to the agreed rent for the tenant's last month.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    There seems to be some confusion, because last month's rent is not a security deposit.  It's exactly what it says it is.  Apparently, you had no security deposit.  

    It's a little scary there was  no lease, but since 30 days is the generally accepted notice, you should be fine as long as you let him know prior to Dec. 17.  Don't mention security deposit though.  He made it clear he wanted your last months rent prepaid, and that's what you did.

    • linkus86
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      "It" doesn't exist.  There is no documentation identifying what anything is which is a valid reason for confusion.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • 1 month ago

    The last month rent you paid at move in is exactly what hat is for, yes.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Jay
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    "payed" isn't a word.

    • SimplytheFACTS
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      yes it is, but has nothing to do with money

    • Log in to reply to the answers
  • Eva
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Don't wait too long. You must give your landlord at least 30 days notice of your move. Since you gave first and last (and I assume a security deposit as well) you would not have to pay. If you did not give a security deposit, then you might have to pay January's rent.

    • Log in to reply to the answers
Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.