How exactly does First and Last month's rent work

The title says it all. My current landlord says one thing, and a tenent who sublets from me says another (first and last=security deposit…are they the same thing?)

Anyway, I got a new house-mate and when he moved in, I had him pay First and Last, (it seemed like a good idea at the time) and now that he is moving out mid-june, he says that he doesent have to pay this month’s rent because he already paid it when he moved in.

Earlier in the year a similar thing happend (another house mate moved out) and I tried to used the same rational that our current house mate is using but our landlord said thats not how it worked…

So please, any Dopers who know about this, how exactly does First and Last Month’s rent work?

IANAL, but the rental agreement is a type of contract, so it seems like it could be written to handle first and last in various ways. Whichever way the contract is written would be fine, if you both signed the contract, unless local law prohibited some aspect of it.

I could see a landlord holding onto the last months rent until after you’ve moved out as an additional damage deposit. I know in the past I’ve had to provide first and last months, plus a separate damage deposit.

It seems like the intent of the last months is mainly to give the landlord at least one month’s protection from you disappearing w/o notice. The terms of how that money will be held and paid should be in the rental contract somewhere.

The first and last month’s rent are not the same as a security deposit. The rent is rent. The security deposit is returned to the tenant when he moves out, less any expenses involved in fixing broken stuff.

When a landlord requires “first and last month’s rent,” he is asking for:

Payment for the first complete month of residence (all rent payments are in advance, generally), plus a deposit for the last month of residence. A landlord will not generally consent to forgoing his last rent payment in exchange for keeping this deposit – often, the rent has risen to exceed the deposit. The “last month’s rent” is therefore payable to the tenant upon moving out. It may never be used as a security deposit for damage or other disputed charges, but it may be kept if the tenant skips out on the last rent payment.

The security deposit is a separate payment, made to offset the risk to the landlord that the tenant may damage his property. In most areas, the landlord is expected to bear the cost of ordinary wear and tear, but extraordinary damages requiring extra work or expense can be charged against the deposit. The unused portion must be returned to the tenant. Also, in many areas, landlords are required to hold deposits in interest-bearing accounts and to turn any accrued interest over to the tenant.