My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: VA
I am the landlord, and my tenant moved in last year. The lease agreement was signed on early March, 2011, and the official lease term began later on the same month. Since the term would end at the end of March, 2012, the tenant wanted to extend his lease this year, so we signed the lease extension agreement on January, 2012, accordingly. The new lease term would begin on April, 2012, and end on June, 2013, as the new agreement states (15 months).
Now, my tenant just gave me a notice that he is ordered to transfer by his employer and has to leave the country in 2 months. So early termination due to transfer, but not military one. I understood. The agreement says I am to receive the final rent plus full one-month rent if the tenant has completed less than 6-month of tenancy as of the termination date. I thought that a new tenancy began when the new lease term began in the extension agreement.
However, my tenant claims that he has completed more than 6-month of tenancy because the beginning date of tenancy is still March 2011, the date he first moved in, not the date the new term began, i.e. 15 months of tenancy (March 2011 - June 2012). Therefore, he only needs to pay half of one-month rent, according to his interpretation of the agreement.
The problem is... the new agreement does not define the tenancy time. We just added few lines about the new monthly rent and changed the dates of the lease term. We kept the rest the same as the original lease agreement, in which the words "lease term" and "tenancy" were interchangeable. I think the new lease term means the new tenancy, but my tenant thinks the tenancy still begins on the day he moved in, by definition. Now, I am afraid if he is actually right.
If the agreement does not define a new tenancy with the lease term renewal, am I wrong to calculate the tenancy time from the date the new term began?