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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Three tenants with a one-year lease from 8/1/15- 7/31/16

Customer Question

Three tenants with a one-year lease from 8/1/15- 7/31/16 received a 14-day notice to quit on March 17,2016 from the landlord for non-payment of March rent, arising from a dispute over which party was responsible for a broken water pipe on feb 14 and the resulting damages to the property. Since the repairs to the affected bedroom were not made until March 15th, the tenants feel the notice to quit was retaliatory, since it was served only 2 days after this event, when the landlords demanded full rent for March and refused to discuss anything else. The landlords have now brought 2 small claims against the defendants. One of the claims addresses damages.. The second is an attempt to collect rent for the month of April. My question addresses the second claim.
On the Mass Legal Help website page, Your Responsibilities When You Leave, under the
heading 2. Moving Before the End of Your Lease, there is a section You Stop Paying Rent. Here is the quote: "when your Landlord sends a notice to quit, he has terminated your tenancy". I interpret that to mean that he has ended the contract, and these tenants owe the Landlord no monies for April, since they vacated the apartment by the end of the day on March 31, as directed by the notice from the landlord.
Would that be correct?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 3 months ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

If the landlord gave you a notice of termination directing that you vacate by March 31, and you did so, then you should not owe rent for the month of April. It sounds like you completely complied with the demands of the landlord and vacated as rent shouldn't be due from you for a month that you didn't occupy the property.

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