Q&A: Paying Moving-Out Fees in a Rental in a Condo

July 18, 2008

Q The building that I live in is a condominium, and I rent from the owner of the apartment. My lease is up and I will be moving. I was just informed that I have to pay $150 to move out. Is it legal to be charged a moving-out fee?

A Lior Aldad, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, said the fees and payments paid by a tenant to a landlord are typically negotiated between the parties and must be in writing to be legally binding.

Most condominium lease agreements have a provision requiring a tenant to comply with the rules and regulations in the offering plan and house rules, Mr. Aldad said. “These rules typically provide for payments of move-in, move-out deposits or fees,” he said.

In the same way that a tenant must dispose of his garbage in accordance with the condominium’s guidelines, or comply with the limitations on the use of the common areas, he would have to pay the move-out fee, he added.

So even if the tenant’s lease did not mention the moving fee, he said, the tenant’s landlord may argue that since it is the tenant who is moving out of the apartment, it is the tenant’s obligation to pay the relevant fee.