Can a Landlord Charge You Rent After You Vacate From an Eviction?

When a person is evicted from a dwelling, his legal troubles may not have ended. In some jurisdictions once a tenant has been evicted and has vacated the premises, matters between him and the landlord are finished, while in other jurisdictions, the landlord may be allowed to collect additional rent. Whether this is the case depends on the laws of the jurisdiction and the nature of the eviction.

Eviction

An eviction differs from other situations in which a tenant leaves a building in that the tenant is forced by law to vacate. An eviction will usually only be issued if the tenant has violated a term of the lease or a law that allows the landlord to petition a court for his removal. If before or during the eviction the tenant did not pay rent, the landlord may be allowed to force him to do so after he leaves.

Local Laws

Unlike many other types of laws, laws regarding eviction are often made not just on the state level but also on the municipal level, with each city setting its own rules about how a landlord can pursue eviction and what compensation he is entitled to. While to know for certain what a landlord is entitled to, a person would have to consult an expert, such as a real estate lawyer, a landlord is often entitled to any months of unpaid rent.

Unpaid Rent

A landlord is often entitled to receive rent for any months in which a tenant did not pay rent as long as he can show that the tenant did not have any valid legal reason not to pay rent. In addition, in some instances, if a landlord was forced to push a tenant out, the landlord may even be allowed to collect money for the months in which the residence sits vacant while he looks for a new tenant.

Considerations

Although a landlord may legally be allowed to charge a tenant additional rent after she has been evicted and has vacated an apartment, whether he will actually choose to do so is another question entirely. In many cases, a landlord will simply consider the matter resolved once a tenant has left. Pursuing additional rent payments can be costly, and the landlord may not deem pursuing the rent worthwhile.

References

  • "Real Estate Law"; James Karp; 2003

About the Author

Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.