Profile picture for GiselaOrtega

I backed out from my lease before moving in, can the landlord still charge me?

This was my first time renting, I was handed a Lease Agreement assuming it was an application for the place. It asked for my SS # and all personal information. It was set for a Month-To-Month lease. She asked when I would like to move in, I said 11/18/2012.

It stated, 

Lease is a Month-To-Month for the advantage of the Landlady as well as Tenant. It is a 30 day lease with 30 day notice to vacate. Rent is $600 per month- CASH ONLY! Plus $600 Security Deposit.

Rent is due on the day of move in and same date each month thereafter. Rent not received within 3 days will be assessed a late charge of $10. per day for each and every day late. A walk through with tenant and landlady is required on moving in and out. Apartment is to be kept in clean condition including steps which are tenants responsibility. Due to prior incidents an inspection will be held each and every month on rent due day. NO SMOKING! Pets questionable! NO DOGS NO LAUNDRY FACILITIES

Tenant will have NO access to basement other than circuit breaker box. TENANT IS RESPONSIBLE to cut grass once a week and snow shovel/blow in winter as needed - equipment provided. Limited overnight guests allowed. 

I called her 11/15/2012 saying I wasn't going to be able to pay for the place, and was no longer interested due to leaving my job, hence not being able to pay it. What are my rights as the landlord is treating to take me to court? I paid nothing as I thought it was contingent upon move in date. 
  • November 17 2012 - US
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Answers (5)

I put a $75 late fee in lease agreement if 5 days late...

I include a $500 fee for cost of eviction process payable by the tenant

12 month lease term minimum

1st month rent and 1 month security deposit in certified funds required at signing...

if one late pay, thereafter all rents must be payable in certified funds




  • November 18 2012
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Profile picture for Honesty Sells
The following link will help you get a hold of someone to talk to in Wisconsin -

http://tenantresourcecenter.org/pc/
  • November 18 2012
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Profile picture for GiselaOrtega
I'm in the state of Wisconsin, and the contract had no move in date nor anything about cancellation. 

Her listing was never taken down, and she also told me other people had been calling interested.  
  • November 17 2012
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme
what state are you in because it's likely that $10 per day late fee is not legal, there are typically limits to what can be charged for late fee as I understand it.  I would ask this question of someone and ask if that makes the contract voidable  - whether or not it makes anythign voidable, the whole thing voidable or what...questions to ask - I'm not an attorney, ask about that and about the move in day when rent is due.
sounds like until you moved in that nothing was due and there was not a deadline for move in date, - did the contract have a definite move in date??? I'd think that would be significant detail too.   also contracts  usually have a cancellation period of a few days - does it say anything about that??? 

best of luck.
you might check into and see what options are around, legal aid, or maybe there is an attorney that will review the contract and write a letter/ make a phone call for $50 and end it quick.
  • November 17 2012
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Did you sign the contract?      If so, it is quite possible that you are obliged for one month's rent as per the terms of the month to month lease you signed.       

Did she have a financial loss? Because she was holding the apartment for you, she stopped advertising and interviewing tenants.   Therefore, she'll have additional costs starting up the advertising again, interviewing plus the costs of the time when the apartment is vacant when she thought it was rented.

It is clear you don't like the terms, which is definitely your choice (but there is nothing wrong with the terms). Hopefully you didn't sign.   If it is only a verbal agreement with nothing in writing, you'll have an easier time in the court case.

Pull up your state's landlord/tenant guidelines.  It is quite possible that they offer you a hotline number you can call (probably business days only).



  • November 17 2012
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