I live in Georgia. I did not have a lease agreement so my tenant is a tenant at will. They sent me an email on 9 Oct that they were moving. They paid rent from up thru 15 Nov (15 days of months rent). They actually vacated the property on 19 Oct leaving the house completely empty. I was fortunate enough to rent the house to another individual on 20 Oct. Now my previous tenants are wanting their rent back for the Nov payment. They say I got duplicate rent and should not have since they actually were still renting...even though they had no belongings in the house. Who is right??? Do I owe them the 15 days rent for Nov? Am I not entitled to 30 payment regardless of whether I rent the house out again or not???
2 Answers from Attorneys
If they vacated the property, which is a factual question, you had the right to re-rent the property. You would not be permitted to collect double rent, but you would be permitted to be compensated for damages suffered due to the tenants' early termination. Speak with a local landlord-tenant attorney to determine your damages and how to respond.
A tenant at will must give 30 days notice to terminate the tenancy. It appears they gave notice and paid rent through the 30 days. You are entitled to rent the property after they vacate, but you are not entitled to double rent.