Paying the difference between prepaid last month and current rent
June 30, 2015 9:13 AM   Subscribe

We are moving out at the end of July and plan on using our prepaid last month of rent. The rent we normally pay has increased since we prepaid that last month. Do we have to pay the difference?

My wife and I live in Philadelphia. We are moving from our apartment at the end of July. My wife paid first month, last month, and a security deposit when she moved in eight years ago. I moved in about three years ago and paid my share of the security deposit to her former roommate (with the landlord’s blessing). Our rent has increased once or twice during that period and the landlord did not ask for anything extra in terms of the deposit.

We are on good terms with our landlord. We have informed her that we are not extending our lease and that we are using the previously paid last month of rent for July. She has not indicated that she is expecting us to pay the difference.

My question is: if she does ask for us to pay the difference, do we legally have to? I’ve done some research and I believe we’re in the clear since she did not ask us to pay anything extra towards the last month deposit when the rent increased but I’m not sure. Our lease does not address this issue beyond acknowledging that we paid $x towards first month, last month, and security deposit.
posted by Diskeater to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If she asks for the difference, ask her to justify doing so - she shouldn't have asked for first and last if she didn't intend for that to be "last". And anyway, what would she do about it, throw you out?

I can almost guarantee this will never come up.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:17 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

If the written lease actually says "$X towards ...last month....", then you are likely liable for the full, current rent. If it says something such as ""$X as last month", I think not.
posted by uncaken at 9:45 AM on June 30, 2015

I have known landlords -- in Philly -- to treat "last month" just as an additional security deposit, requiring rent to be paid on the last month of the lease and returning the "last month" of rent with the rest of the deposit. Sounds like you may be in the clear, but I wouldn't be surprised if she takes the difference out of your deposit. If it were me, I would probably just pay if she complains and consider that a fee for a good landlord reference in the future.
posted by supercres at 10:49 AM on June 30, 2015

Anecdata: I moved out my Philadelphia apartment last year after living in it for six years, and I clarified with them what was expected for the last month's rent. In my case, they wanted me to pay the difference (about $65), and I didn't put up a fight.
posted by pitrified at 11:05 AM on June 30, 2015

If your lease does say "towards" last month's rent, I think you owe the extra (if she asks). I wouldn't offer, but if she does ask, I don't see why your rent would suddenly change because it's the last month on your lease...
posted by rainbowbrite at 8:26 AM on July 1, 2015

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