Q: I moved to Virginia from New York in early July of 2005. My one-bedroom apartment wasn’t ready, so the landlord set me up in a two-bedroom unit until the one bedroom was ready to be occupied.
He gave me a lease for the two bedroom apartment for a year, and then transferred the lease to the one-bedroom apartment the following month.
I purchased a home this past July, and moved out of the rental apartment on July 1st. The manager of the building claims my lease is up August 1st due to the transfer from the one-bedroom unit to the two-bedroom unit.
He is threatening to take me to court for the $1,200 in rent he claims I owe. Can he do this?
A: The landlord can sue you for the rent, but whether he wins depends on what the lease actually says. Please go back and read your lease. If you inadvertently signed a lease that was for 13 months (one month in the two-bedroom apartment plus 12 months in the one-bedroom apartment), you may owe the cash.
If you only signed a 12-month lease, and you were out by the end of the lease, and followed all other exit procedures described in the lease, the landlord is probably out of luck.
If you are sued, and you do not owe the money, you can simply point out in small claims court that the lease says what it says, and state you do not owe the cash and you want your security deposit back.
For more details, talk to a real estate attorney.