I am asking a question from the perspective of a tenant and looking for your expertise. I have found a good deal of info on MTM leases but none that I can locate seem to directly address my specific question.
I am currently renting and am entering the fourth year of my lease. We live in Pennsylvania in a suburb of Philly.
Our lease has previously been a yearly lease, but when renewal time came up this year I decided it made sense to do a month to month considering that we are looking to buy a house. But the housing market is pretty strong it is definitely a sellers market, so we have had no such luck.
The lease that we agreed upon was month to month with 60 days notice, and the lease does specify that 60 day notice to vacate must be given by the tenant (as I read it) but there is no similar disclaimer that the landlord has the right to terminate the lease with 60 days notice by no fault of the tenant, to rent it to someone willing to sign an annual lease. Rent has always been on time and there is nothing on our lease that we have violated. I am aware this is more of a legal question, but seeing as we (the tenant) have not given notice or indication that we would be moving, is the landlord legally able to market our apartment for rent, provide showings to prospects, and ultimately rent the apartment out, even though we have no desire to move? Because this is a legal question, is there any resources you have on this topic.
Thanks for your assistance!
The boilerplate response is "what does your lease say?" about the landlord's right to entry. Mine spells out that I have a right to enter (given reasonable notice) for safety inspections, maintenance, repairs, to show the unit to prospective tenants or buyers, etc.
It's weird if your lease doesn't speak to the landlord's terms of renewal/nonrenewal. I'm not sure what a judge would do about it, either. The landlord should have to give you a notice of termination before he could rent it out to someone else.
Maybe talk to the landlord and get something established in writing about the terms of the showings and renewal? That would benefit everyone and keep the agreement between you both and not in the hands of judge that doesn't have a direct interest in the issue.
Your landlord would be required to give notice as outlined in your state landlord tenant regulations. If there is no mention then probably 30 days.
Doubtful your landlord would market the unit before you give notice. If he was going to do that he would not have signed a M2M lease with you.
Read and print out your landlord-tenant statutes. That should spell everything out. As a side note, if a tenant is required to give a 60 day notice of non-renewal in FL, the landlord is obligated to that same amount of time. M2M can pose problems for renters by landlord that jack up rents at will. This is why you need to research YOUR state laws.
If the lease is silent on some aspect, then the local or state law would apply; in this case, thirty days noticed would be required.
Good luck with your house hunting - you might wish to go a bit further west on Rt 23 to find more affordable houses for sale than in Conshohocken.
Food for thought (in case you're losing sleep over the subject): If your landlord preferred a one year lease he would not have allowed the mtm....unless your lease was up in Dec. and May in your market is the best time for turnovers. Most landlords prefer to leave good tenants in place as long as possible...to defer everything involved in a turnover.
Thanks for all the helpful info on the topic.
I am trying to get in touch with him to talk about it further considering the lease that we signed is not clear. I will be doing my due diligence in the meantime about PA State Landlord-Tenant laws. I am looking at this as a learning experience. I was not aware that MTM leases operated differently than annual in that the Landlord could provide 60 days notice to terminate the lease to the tenant.
As a future real estate investor I will be sure to mention that to tenants who inquire about a MTM lease. In our situation, knowing that those were the terms would have given me pause to signing that agreement.
Hard to say without looking at the lease. But I agree with @Steve Babiak that the default rules apply if the lease is totally silent on the matter. So I would say the landlord would need to give you a 30-day notice to quit.
In terms of marketing or showing, I'm not aware of a statewide law that prevents the landlord from doing so. Maybe there are some local laws on the topic although I'm not aware of such laws.
Check your lease to see if there is any language where you waived your right to a notice. If such language exists, then you are in a different position.
Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it as legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.