Legal Q&A: Tenant caused fire in apartment


Question: Can I give a rent increase anytime during the month or just on the first day of the month?

Answer: If you have a month-to-month tenancy with the tenant, you can serve a written 30-day notice (or 60-day notice if you are increasing the rent more than 10 percent within the last 12 months) to increase the rent at any time of the month.

Question: I have a tenant who caused a fire in an apartment which resulted in a substantial amount of damage. The fire department concluded the tenant was at fault. Can he be liable for my deductible? And, can I take it out of his deposit?

Answer: Yes, in fact he is responsible for all losses suffered (your insurance company may want to pursue him).

Question: I have renters who recently informed me that they are moving. The lease does not end for another six months. Now what happens?

Answer: The tenants are liable for the rent up to the date the lease expires or the date the premises are relet, whichever occurs first. You are under an obligation to attempt to relet the premises in order to hold the former tenants liable.

Ted Kimball Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Ted Kimball
Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP


Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. If you have questions, please contact your local KTS office. For contact information, please visit our website: For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers, and Legal Articles, please consult the resource library section of our website.

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