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I'm moving out, new tenants want to move in early, should they pay?
March 10, 2014 11:01 AM   Subscribe

New tenants want to move in 3 days early and don't want to pay for the extra days.

I'm moving out of my current place to live with my girlfriend and to secure our new place, we had to rent it one month in advance, so we are effectively renting two places for two weeks (I'll be using the first two weeks in March to pack up stuff and move).

By March 16th, I will have moved everything out of my current place, but I asked the landlord if they would refund me the rent for the last two weeks, and they said no. That's not a problem, I figured asking isn't a big deal. The new tenants know that I'll be out by March 16.

March 31 is a Monday, and the landlord gave the new tenants my email address and they emailed asking if they could move in on Saturday March 29. I thought that's fine, I'll give them a break.

Next, they emailed me directly again saying they had an issue come up, and they'd like to move in on March 24th, but their financial position does not allow them to pay me for the extra days they'll be here.

I replied and said that a couple days early is okay, but if they'd like to move in an entire week early, they would have to pay for that week. If they'd like to move in anytime before Saturday March 29, they would have to pay for all of the days in March they would like to be there.

Now they've emailed saying they'd like to move in on Friday March 28, and how much would the prorated amount be for that one day. I feel that they're really pushing the envelope here and are starting to abuse my good nature. I clearly said anytime before Saturday and they should pay for all the days, not just the days before Saturday.

1. Am I being a dick trying to nickle and dime these people? I feel I've paid for the place, I'm allowed to keep it occupied or empty until the very last day.

2. Should I charge them?

3. Should I charge them for the single day, or for all 4 days (Friday through Monday)?

The landlord is being CC'd on all this and has had no input. Supposedly the landlords are friends with the new tenants.

At this point in time I feel frustrated and just want to say "forget everything, I'll be out on the 31st, feel free to move in anytime after that."
posted by althanis to Human Relations (42 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Any more than a day or two is not really cool, especially if it's full-on moving in and not just bringing boxes over. Since the 1st is a Tuesday and most people want to move on the weekend, I'd think that say, the 29th or 30th would be a decent amount of wiggle room, but the 24th is full-fledged early. At my last place we moved out two weeks before the lease was up, but used that time to do our final cleaning and walk-through at our leisure.
posted by radioamy at 11:06 AM on March 10


You have every right to ask, but I wouldn't bother. This is money you weren't counting on seeing, after all, so I'd just welcome them in and consider this to be a boost to your karma bank. Someone else may be just as kind to you the next time you move into a new place.
posted by mochapickle at 11:07 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


You do have a right to ask but I wouldn't if I were you. As a renter who's had to pay for several months of two places until a lease ran out, I'd just be happy if I found a replacement tenant. I also am not sure you have much to gain if the new tenants are friends with the landlords and are really strapped for cash.
posted by mlle valentine at 11:07 AM on March 10


My first reading of your post was also that you were asking them to pay just for the days before Saturday, so I wouldn't ascribe it to malice. That said, you're totally within your rights to take any of your three options, but given that it doesn't really cost you anything I would be inclined to offer just Friday's rent.
posted by katrielalex at 11:08 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I'm confused as to why you're involved at all - shouldn't this just go through the landlord?

I think in your position I'd point out to the landlord that it might be fair to refund you the rent for the period when there will be two tenants for the apartment, and then leave it at that. Just move when you intend to move, and go on with your life.
posted by altolinguistic at 11:10 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Why would they pay you for moving in early?

They should pay your landlord, and your landlord should pro-rate your last month of rent.

If your landlord isn't charging them, and isn't pro-rating you, that's something to take up with him, not the new tenants.

What date the new tenants move in should have nothing to do with you, assuming you'll be moved out by that date, which you will.

How much money are we really talking about here? If it's a fancy place in an expensive market and four days comes to hundreds of dollars, I think you should absolutely take it up with your landlord. If it's $100 (about what this would cost at my current bog standard basic apartment in a major US city), I think you should let it go.
posted by Sara C. at 11:11 AM on March 10 [14 favorites]


What *should* happen if they want to move in early is for you to complete your final walkthrough with the landlord and be released from the lease PRIOR to the new tenants having access. If you feel like being generous, let them move in early but insist upon being released from the lease beforehand. There's a lot of legal BS that could come from this if you are still the leaseholder when they move in.

Protect yourself first, be nice second.
posted by tealcake at 11:12 AM on March 10 [56 favorites]


Hellz to the no. These people want to occupy a place that you're still paying rent for? YOU're paying rent for THEM?

If these people are such friends with the landlord, they should be able to convince him/her to let you out of your contract early, by the same number of days they want to move in early. If no such friendship exists, then they will get the key just as soon as you're done using it, on the 31st.
posted by Liesl at 11:12 AM on March 10 [40 favorites]


At this point in time I feel frustrated and just want to say "forget everything, I'll be out on the 31st, feel free to move in anytime after that."

That. You're getting messed about, and you have your own moving out and moving in to deal with, without dealing with other peoples shifting plans and penny saving (or, in this case, effectively you paying for their rent).

Also, if the landlord gave the new tenants your email address without asking you first: uncool.

One email saying you are out on the 31st as you are paying rent up to then, Cced to landlord, and stating no further correspondence. It's possible that they or the landlord will come back to you then and offer to - rightly - reimburse you for an early release.
posted by Wordshore at 11:14 AM on March 10 [9 favorites]


I'd write to them and tell them that letting them move in a day or two is fine, but that your plans are apt to change at any point and you may end up needing the place through the end of the month as you have other plans that may make moving all your stuff out in time very difficult. That if they wanted to ensure that they could have the place earlier, they'll need to pay otherwise you need the convenience of knowing that you'll have the place for longer to deal with moving out.

If it was me, I'd let the one extra day go, but let them know that you have no extra flexibility on letting them move in even earlier. Also, tell them you need the ok from the landlord that their lease will start on that day so that you're no longer liable for any issues that may come up for the couple of days early that they move in.
posted by cacao at 11:14 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


IANAL, but if you're still renting and they're occupying, you might be liable if anything happens (particularly if any injury occurs during the move). You might want to consult your lease, and look into them waiving liability while you're still in possession.
posted by iamscott at 11:15 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


If you feel like being generous, let them move in early but insist upon being released from the lease beforehand.

This. No way I'd let someone else move in while I was still paying rent and legally responsible for the place.
posted by gyusan at 11:15 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


Tell them if you have gotten 100% of your security deposit back by then and your landlord has released you from any and all liabilities, that sure, they can move in whenever they want. You want to put this back on the landlord. I would think getting back 100% of sec deposit would be worth as much as they would pay.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:16 AM on March 10 [30 favorites]


Also, I agree with those who say this is an issue for the landlord, if you want to be compensated; the tenants shouldn't be paying you directly--the landlord should reimburse you.
posted by mlle valentine at 11:17 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


So, if you were going on your merry way, never contacted by these people, you would have turned your keys in on the 16th and never thought about your old place again. Thats why you were cool with the 29th. No skin off your nose.

You're now either dealing with people who are trying to take it easy moving or people who are in some sticky situation where they need to move ASAP. Where you could be the difference between living through hell for a week or two and being fine.

I'd give them the benefit of the doubt about misreading the email. It's confusing, and possibly these are young or inexperienced renters. They're probably in panic mode.
posted by fontophilic at 11:18 AM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Most landlords will agree to an early walk-through and release of the security deposit. I'd actually try to do this as soon as I moved out, in case something happened in the two weeks that apartment was vacant (break-in, burst pipe, whatever). Don't let them move in until that's been done, whenever that is.

I disagree that the landlord should get involved in payment issues between the two of you. They have a contract with you; why would they want to complicate their lives over a few days' difference in move-in schedule.

If it were me, I don't think I'd ask for money for the weekend (like you). I mean, what difference does it make to you? You're out. If you've got your security deposit back, it's literally no difference to you when they move in.

Frankly, your offer to them is dickish. You're willing to comp them a couple of days, but if they need an extra day beyond that, that comp time disappears? Why? To punish them for asking for an extra day? Because you're offended that they might want some extra time to move their stuff? Maybe they can take the Friday off but not the Monday; give them a break.

They've offered to pay for the Friday. Charge them for one day, let them have the other two for free. They cost you nothing. Get your deposit back first. That's it.
posted by Dasein at 11:26 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Agree with above. Here's what I'd do: email the landlord, say you're fine with them moving in early IF you can be released from your lease early and get those days prorated back to you and get your security deposit back. Since he's friends with them, and since he knows he will have paying tenants in that place, he should be more motivated to help with this request. I wouldn't let random people move in to a place I was still legally responsible for.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 11:27 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Pass the buck back to the landlord. Make sure you do a walkthrough with him, turn over the key, and get it all signed off and dated in writing. Take lots of move out pictures so you're not on the hook for any new move in damages. You do not want people living in "your" apartment, and it's hardly worth your while to make it a legal sublease.

Your landlord is probably foisting this on you because "double renting" may be illegal wherever you are, so if he did them the favor of letting them move in early, he'd have to prorate your rent.
posted by Kriesa at 11:27 AM on March 10 [4 favorites]


I agree with Kriesa. If the landlord wants to do the walk-through early, give you pro-rated rent back and let them move in early, he can do that and decide whether or not to charge them the extra.
posted by radioamy at 11:28 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Tell them to get stuffed and that they can move in on the 1st. Idiots like this are the worst people to deal with. I guarantee the first thing they will do upon move-in is drag a piece of metal across the hardwood floor, and you'll get charged for the gouges. Whatever you do, make sure you do a walk through with the landlord present before returning your keys.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 11:31 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Don't let them move in early (even a day) without being released from the lease. At that point, it's not your problem, even if the landlord doesn't give you a break for the time when you're out of the apartment (see: sunk cost fallacy). But don't let anyone live in a place that you're legally responsible for.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 11:32 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Also, as Kriesa said, in a lot of places, the situation they are proposing is not even legal.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 11:33 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


Frankly, your offer to them is dickish. You're willing to comp them a couple of days, but if they need an extra day beyond that, that comp time disappears? Why?

Because people like this ask for an inch and you give them an inch, then they ask for a foot, and you say, oh ok and give them a foot, and then they move into your apartment before your lease is up and suddenly you are responsible for their having fucked up the hardwood floors which they deny all responsibility for.

The issue is that people like this always want an exception but they never want to pay for it. One readily grants small exceptions because it's nice, but some people can't leave well enough alone and be satisfied - they've found a soft spot and now they have to exploit it. So you finally say no. That's not being dickish, it's recognizing that you are being taken advantage of and backing out of the situation.
posted by gyusan at 11:38 AM on March 10 [31 favorites]


They should pay your landlord, and your landlord should pro-rate your last month of rent.

What *should* happen if they want to move in early is for you to complete your final walkthrough with the landlord and be released from the lease PRIOR to the new tenants having access.


Yeah, this and this. If I recall correctly, I did something like this with my current apartment. I moved in on the 20-something of the month, and I paid for that fraction of the month that I had the apartment for. The previous tenant obviously did *not* have access to the apartment during that time, and so I certainly assume they weren't also paying rent to my landlord for that time period.

Another thing to keep in mind, as a prior poster alluded to, is that it could actually be technically illegal for you to have someone else live in the apartment while you're the lease-holder, if your lease doesn't allow subletting. So that's one way to get out of doing this without looking like a jerk.
posted by Asparagus at 11:45 AM on March 10


What *should* happen if they want to move in early is for you to complete your final walkthrough with the landlord and be released from the lease PRIOR to the new tenants having access. If you feel like being generous, let them move in early but insist upon being released from the lease beforehand. There's a lot of legal BS that could come from this if you are still the leaseholder when they move in.

Yeah, this. If you want a REASON to backtrack and deny them the ability to move in until the 31st, you could go with "I talked to my insurance agent, and if I'm the leaseholder, my renter's insurance won't cover you, so I can't let you in until after my lease has formally ended and I am no longer the leaseholder. Sorry." If they have an issue with that, tell them you'd be happy to move earlier if your landlord releases you from the lease, refunds you your pro-rated rent, and gives you a signed condition report and your deposit back.

Accidents happen when moving -- actually, someone I know just had surgery for an injury incurred while trying to move something heavy. I don't think being concerned about damage and injuries and liabilities is unreasonable.
posted by pie ninja at 11:46 AM on March 10 [10 favorites]


Because people like this ask for an inch and you give them an inch, then they ask for a foot, and you say, oh ok and give them a foot, and then they move into your apartment before your lease is up and suddenly you are responsible for their having fucked up the hardwood floors which they deny all responsibility for.

No, they've offered to pay for any extra time beyond the weekend. This isn't a case of them asking for more and more for free. And everyone, including me, is recommending that OP protect himself from liability before the move happens.
posted by Dasein at 11:52 AM on March 10


At this point in time I feel frustrated and just want to say "forget everything, I'll be out on the 31st, feel free to move in anytime after that."

So do that. It's entirely honest and forthright to insist on the rights you paid good money for.

Since they're friends of the landlord who may let them move in illegally under your lease, I'd plan to keep the keys until the 31st and sometime in that last week to stop by and make sure they haven't moved their stuff in.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:58 AM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Next, they emailed me directly again saying they had an issue come up, and they'd like to move in on March 24th, but their financial position does not allow them to pay me for the extra days they'll be here.

I replied and said that a couple days early is okay, but if they'd like to move in an entire week early, they would have to pay for that week. If they'd like to move in anytime before Saturday March 29, they would have to pay for all of the days in March they would like to be there.

Now they've emailed saying they'd like to move in on Friday March 28, and how much would the prorated amount be for that one day. I feel that they're really pushing the envelope here and are starting to abuse my good nature. I clearly said anytime before Saturday and they should pay for all the days, not just the days before Saturday.


Just my reading of it: once you tell them how much you want for one day, they'll then ask to move the day back another day. Except they won't offer you 2X the amount for one day, they'll offer you less than that. Then they'll ask for it to be pushed back again, until you've let them move in on the 24th for like $11.25.

It sounds like a hassle to keep politely emailing people who seem intent on not listening to what you are offering, and who hope to wear you down until they get what they want because they're hoping you'll just give up.

If it was me, I'd politely email back and say that just like "something has come up" in their lives, "something has come up" in your life and you'll be needing to stay until the 31st. It sounds like too much work to keep contacting these people who want a favor from a stranger in return for absolutely nothing.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:59 AM on March 10 [7 favorites]


It's not being dickish to make sure your bases are covered. I agree with the others that suggest putting it back onto the landlord. Make sure you are released from the lease and cleared of damages, etc before they are allowed to move in. If it's not such a big deal to get out of paying for the last few days, then why was the landlord so adamant about getting those days from you?
posted by dozo at 12:02 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


Here's the way to play the situation.

Figure out when your shit will be out of your current apartment. Give yourself all the time in the world. Add a day or two so your landlord can inspect and so you can clean or repaint if necessary in order to reclaim your deposit. Take care of yourself first.

After that's done, let the landlord fucking deal with this. Doing favors, generating money, doing favors by not generating money.. it's just a pain in the ass. You can sort this out via email unemotionally.

"Hey this sort of got way more complicated than I intended it to be. Sorry about that. I'm just going to focus on getting my stuff out before my lease is up. If you want to make any special arrangements, please do so through the landlord. It sounds like your move-in date is in flux as is my move-out date, so I'll definitely keep him/her up to speed and they'll have all the answers. I'm paying through March 31st and I'm not entirely sure how and when things will wrap up on my end so perhaps the most prudent thing is to plan to move in after that date and as far as moving in early is concerned, hope for the best. I hope you understand where I'm coming from and wish you no ill will. Best of luck."

Because these fuckers are free to move in late after they've started paying, on their own fucking dime. You just need to back out in a really polite manner. And next time avoid back-door dealing because people do take advantage of other peoples kindness. It's just how people roll. Don't take it too personally.
posted by phaedon at 12:06 PM on March 10 [13 favorites]


If you are surrendering the keys to your apartment when you move out on the 16th, then whether the new tenants move in on the 17th or on Apr. 1 is not up to you. You have surrendered the premises.

If you are not surrendering the premises on the 16th, then you are free to play this however you like.

But it is worth pointing out that retaining premises in which you are not residing, even temporarily, is kind of risky. You'd still be responsible for anything that happens there.

Turn in the keys and walk away. What happens after the 16th should be no concern of yours. You were out that rent anyway.
posted by valkyryn at 12:13 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


Oh my god no! If your name is still on the lease I don't care if they offer you $1000 a day, do NOT let them move in til you're off the lease!! WTF??
posted by tristeza at 12:31 PM on March 10


Now they've emailed back and said they need to move in on the 24th - an issue with the movers, and just tell them how much they'll owe me.

As most people have suggested, I'm going to email the landlord and ask him to look over everything before the 24th and pay me back a prorated amount because I don't want them staying there on my lease. He can then deal with the new tenants and they can pay him directly.

Thank you for the responses everyone. I will update if anything material happens.
posted by althanis at 12:40 PM on March 10 [14 favorites]


You are good with your choice.

Your landlord is being a hardcase, but you are totally justified in keeping the keys to the apartment since you have paid thru the end of the month. Corb is right in that the new tenants would owe your landlord, provided he had totally released you from all financial responsibility prior to the end of the month and refunded your money. You'd be within your rights to consider this a sublet if you let them move in on your dime, but the aggravation and ramifications aren't worth the money. You're not being dickish, you're doing a serious CYA from something that could come back and bite you.

Stand your ground. If these 'so called' friends really are that close to the landlord, let HIM be the one to do them the favors.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:01 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]


You're not being a dick at all.

The new tenants' issues are not your problem. You've paid for the "luxury" of having a full, final month to move out and clean your place up. It's your landlord who is being a jerk by putting you in the middle of this situation.

Moving is stressful enough without unnecessary drama being created by others. I'd walk away from ANY further negotiations at this point. Poor planning on the part of the incoming tenants, and poor boundaries on the part of your landlord, do not constitute an emergency on your part.
posted by nacho fries at 1:05 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with the folks saying it's not about the money, it's not about the inconvenience, it's about YOUR LEASE still being in effect while THEY are occupying the property. Tell your landlord he can end the lease early (and pro-rate your rent) and they can do whatever they want, but unless he does, it's your apartment until the lease is up.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:05 PM on March 10 [4 favorites]


I also want to note that here Landlords have to do minor maintenance repairs like repainting in between tenants. YLMV.Your laws may vary.The Landlord needs the time do actually get that done in between when you move out and when they move in.

This is a landlord thing. What are they going to do: pay you and then pay the LL for residing?

I do a lot of work in the apartment market, and usually +/- 3 or 4 days the LL doesn't really care (or tenants don't really care) about prorating. After that prorating almost always happens.

The legal issues as others have noted are important as well.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:33 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


You're being kind of a dick.

How, in any way, is it being dickish to protect your legal and financial well-being from abuse by people you don't know (and who are already pressuring you to do something that's not in your best interest? Why should OP trust them at all? Or the landlord who thought this was a good idea, for that matter?)

These people would be living there rent-free and without a lease, for over a week. They would be free to do ANYTHING to the apartment and OP would be legally responsible for it - not them.

The person being dickish is the landlord. First of all, the landlord has absolutely no business giving out a tenant's email address to anyone, especially not strangers. Not for any reason. Second, this is a business relationship. It needs to be taken care of professionally, not informally between tenant and prospective tenant.

If these people are friends of the landlord, and the landlord wants them to live there, the landlord needs to release OP from the lease and pro-rate the last month's rent (for both the vacating tentant and the new tenants). No matter what, the landlord needs to follow the correct legal protocol for leasing an apartment to new tenants. Not doing so makes the landlord vulnerable to legal and insurance issues since they would not be legal residents of the premises.
posted by i feel possessed at 2:16 PM on March 10 [5 favorites]


OP, I think you're taking the right approach per your update, but if I were you I would still be bothered by the approach that the prospective tenants are taking with this ("let us know what we owe you").

I think you should tell them that your lease runs until March 31, and that as long as you are legally and financially responsible for the apartment, you cannot and should not have other people living there. So, unfortunately, there's really nothing you can do to help them as far as an early move in, unless your landlord agrees to terminate your lease early. So if they want to start their lease earlier than March 31, they need to negotiate with the landlord on the early start for them & early termination for you, but that you'd be cooperative with whatever they decide, assuming of course that the agreement does not have you paying rent for the apartment while you're not in possession of it.
posted by Asparagus at 3:30 PM on March 10 [6 favorites]


Now they've emailed back and said they need to move in on the 24th - an issue with the movers, and just tell them how much they'll owe me.

As most people have suggested, I'm going to email the landlord and ask him to look over everything before the 24th and pay me back a prorated amount because I don't want them staying there on my lease. He can then deal with the new tenants and they can pay him directly.

Thank you for the responses everyone. I will update if anything material happens.


Yep, now it's back on the landlord. If they want to move in, you need to be OUT. Financially and legally. Say you can't do anything until your end is finalized with landlord. On what planet is not wanting to paying for people and be legally responsible for people you don't know dickish, in terms of real estate? That's insane. They pushed it, now it's back on the landlord. So, the early move date is now totally up to their friend the landlord as soon as you are legally released and recomped from your lease. Great. Problem solved.
posted by bquarters at 5:29 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


On preview, Asparagus said it much better than I did.
posted by bquarters at 5:31 PM on March 10


Yeah, whatever you do, don't let them move in until the landlord has formally released you from the lease, whether he refunds any of your rent or not.
posted by valkyryn at 2:34 AM on March 11 [1 favorite]


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