Legal advise needed

8 Replies

Hello All,

I was previously renting a month ago and we asked our landlord to give us month to month since we were planning to leave back in Aug- Sept 2014.  Well, they never sent us anything back to sign in writing for our yearly contract.  So we kept quiet and moved out when we got the house.  They are now saying we left without terms and taking us to court.  Please advise.  

I need more information. Did you previously have a long-term lease? When did it expire? Did you sign a new lease? If you did, you are bound to the terms of the new lease.

Just because you didn't hear from them doesn't mean you can just leave.

That said, if you were originally supposed to leave last year in August, you have most likely been on a month to month lease, and terminating a month to month lease is different than a long term lease. Check with your state, but you typically give them a 30- or 60-day notice.

But you still have to give them notice that you are leaving. Have they actually filed in court, or are they just threatening?

Medium fbprofileMindy Jensen, BiggerPockets | [email protected] | https://www.biggerpockets.com | CO Agent # FA100049656 | Podcast Guest on Show #129

Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen :

I need more information. Did you previously have a long-term lease? When did it expire? Did you sign a new lease? If you did, you are bound to the terms of the new lease.

Just because you didn't hear from them doesn't mean you can just leave.

That said, if you were originally supposed to leave last year in August, you have most likely been on a month to month lease, and terminating a month to month lease is different than a long term lease. Check with your state, but you typically give them a 30- or 60-day notice.

But you still have to give them notice that you are leaving. Have they actually filed in court, or are they just threatening?

 Hey Mindy,

It was previously a long term lease that expires in September.  We did not sign a new lease.  We stayed there until March and let them know we are going to be leaving by giving them a 60 day notice and left.... 

Originally posted by @Hammad Ali:
Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen:

I need more information. Did you previously have a long-term lease? When did it expire? Did you sign a new lease? If you did, you are bound to the terms of the new lease.

Just because you didn't hear from them doesn't mean you can just leave.

That said, if you were originally supposed to leave last year in August, you have most likely been on a month to month lease, and terminating a month to month lease is different than a long term lease. Check with your state, but you typically give them a 30- or 60-day notice.

But you still have to give them notice that you are leaving. Have they actually filed in court, or are they just threatening?

 Hey Mindy,

It was previously a long term lease that expires in September.  We did not sign a new lease.  We stayed there until March and let them know we are going to be leaving by giving them a 60 day notice and left.... 

 Sorry we gave the notice in March and left after the 60 days.

I think it depends.  There may have been a clause in your lease that says, absent a written renewal, the original lease will renew for the same time period and with all the same clauses in affect.  Or it could say that absent a written renewal, the lease will go month to month.  Read your lease.  

If there are no clauses in there that say what happens if there is no renewal, then check your state's laws on what happens when you are renting without a lease.  

This is not legal advice.  You should talk to a lawyer in your state who is familiar with tenant/landlord laws.

Medium cluebussol logo3inLinda Weygant CPA, Clue Business Services, Inc. | [email protected] | Podcast Guest on Show #244

Agree. Talk to a local real estate lawyer. Good luck.

Hammad,

Is it possible your old lease had a "self-renewing" clause which provides for the lease to renew for another year  ( or whatever the previous lease period was) under the same terms and conditions if neither party notifies the other to the contrary?

As a NJ landlord, I used to always have this clause in my leases.  If I wanted a rent increase, I would have had to get a new signature, but otherwise it automatically just kept renewing every year.


You need to do two things:

1. As others have said, read your old lease. Read every single line carefully. Look for anything relating to renewal or "holding over" to see if the landlord's claim has any merit.

2. Before spending money on a lawyer, call the landlord and ask for a specific line in the lease or a specific law that prohibited you from leaving "without terms," whatever that means. If the landlord cannot cite a specific lease provision or a specific law (as in a URL or a citation, not just what somebody says the law is), then politely ask why the landlord is complaining and what the landlord expects you to do.