A reader e-mailed me the following question regarding a roommate moving out in the middle of the month vice at the end. The e-mail reads as follows:
Hi mike, it's R. Well last email I told you had my first tenant. What do I do if he has a change of plan. We have a month to month agreement. He is a flight instructor and we get along very well. One of the other instructors is inviting him to move in and share costs at his apartment. He payed for the month. I feel bad but I don't feel like I should have to refund half the month. And he is not arguing. What is the right thing to do I am trying to run a business. Any way this week the other room will be occupied as I have two. So second tenant and hope he stays the time he said he would Any comments. I really like and respect this first tenant that is leaving because he will be getting Internet and hanging with a fellow instructor he said nothing to do with me or my accommodations. What should I do. What is fair?.
It depends on the agreement you have with your roommate. The agreement I have between my roommates and I is a month-to-month rental. If he or she moves out mid-month, the rent for that month is prorated on the number of days they’ll be living in my spare room.
That said, that’s not always been the case. There have been a few situations where a roommate has moved out mid-month and was willing to pay the full rent amount. I didn’t ask for the full month’s rent, they simply wanted to pay. In these situations, I don’t put up resistance to free money. I’ll simply take it as an inconvenience for the transaction cost to find a new roommate.
The last time this happened was about a year ago. This was one of those situations where I was away on travel when he moved out. Via e-mail, he notified me that he’ll be moving out in the middle of the month, but will pay the entire month’s rent. So, needless to say, I wasn’t complaining about accepting a full month’s rent rather than prorating it.
I think the rationale most roommates realize that it’s an inconvenience to find roommates and understand paying an extra few bucks is cheaper than breaking a long term lease.