90 Day notice on a Month to Month

5 Replies

I have a tenant whose lease is ending in about 2 months, and a month ago I gave him 30 days to let me know if he plans on renewing (giving me 60 days to advertise). Today, the last day before I required the response, he told me he is looking for a new job and to buy a house near that job. Because he doesn't know where the job will be yet, he doesn't know where to look for the house yet. Essentially, he knows he will want to move out a few months after the beginning of the new term, but doesn't know when yet because of these unknowns.

My first thought was to have him sign a month to month agreement beginning at the end of the current lease, requiring a 90 day notice if he plans to break it. 

My first question is: Is that type of agreement enforceable, or does the NJ state law that says 30 days is required to break a MTM lease trump that contract?

Second: Should I just not renew with him at all? This is my first turnover so maybe I'm reluctant to let a good tenant go, but maybe because of that I'm not thinking about it logically. I anticipated a clean yes or no to renewal, not this.

The MTM option also runs the risk of a turnover during the winter, which I hear is harder to fill.

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

M2M is a good option in your situation. No reason not to offer it to a good tenant.

In most cases any lease language that counters state law is null and void. This however does not prevent you from asking for as much notice as possible.

The law seems to state that the tenant must give 30 days notice for MTM. It doesn't make clear whether or not the notice can be more than that if required by the landlord though

Based on state codes landlord can ask and tenant can voluntarily agree however when a tenant does not agree to any requirement a landlord has no legal authority to require tenants to comply. Many landlord believe they have the authority to put what ever they choose in a lease. Nothing could be farther than the truth. State codes trump all lease language. Where the code is silent on a issue it is then, and only then, at a landlords discresion.

State codes apply in a court of law.

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

Based on state codes landlord can ask and tenant can voluntarily agree however when a tenant does not agree to any requirement a landlord has no legal authority to require tenants to comply.  Many landlord believe they have the authority to put what ever they choose in a lease. Nothing could be farther than the truth. State codes trump all lease language. Where the code is silent on a issue it is then, and only then, at a landlords discresion.

State codes apply in a court of law.

 Yeah, I guess my issue is I'm unclear as to what the state code implies exactly. Seems to just say must give 30 days notice, but I take that as meaning at least 30 days

"but I take that as meaning at least 30 days"

Correct....At the tenants discretion minimum (30 days) is maximum. They may give more notice voluntarily but can not be forced. They may not give less than 30 days without violating the law and be subject to penalty.