Month to Month lease with 30 days notification for cancel

Question for the leagle beagles out there, or anyone else that chimes in. I had a 4 month lease that expired many months ago. My lease says two things about what happens after the initial period expires:

I see two interpretations:

(1) Technically, the first provision means that the lease never expired and it gives me an indefinite lease.

(2) If not (1), then the 30/45 days notice prevents the month to month from renewing. So any notice given in September means that the month to month renews October 1st for the final time. This results in a move out date of Oct 31st.

I’m not seriously arguing (1), but (2) is what I interpreted it to mean.

My landlord has a different interpretation and says that I have to move out 30 days from the date she gave me notice. Meaning the middle of October. I don’t see any way to construe our lease to give her that right.

Am I right here?

(This is a room in a house situation, and I totally understand that it isn’t worth it at all to fight it. But I am worried that I won’t be able to find something by the time she wants me out and I don’t want to be homeless. )

I’m in a similar situation, but as a tenant giving notice to move out and wanting to pay the absolute minimum rent. I just gave my 30 days notice and a rent check for the first half of October. As such, I’m basically interpreting “30 days notice” the same way your landlord is. I will be watching this thread carefully…

What are the local landlord-tenant laws for the state and city you live in? In general, any relevant laws will override whatever is in your lease. IOW, if the law says there must be 60 days notice, the 30 day provision in your lease is invalid.

My son had a clause similar to your first quote in his lease at college, except it said 60 days. The leasor used that to force us to pay an extra two months rent when he moved out at the end of the lease. He hadn’t given the 60 days notice. None of us thought of it because we thought the lease was up when the lease was up.

I would read the second clause as saying that either of you can cancel the automatic month-to-month clause but it has to be 45 days ahead. So, if she gives that notice on Sept 20, the month-to-month is automatic on Oct 1 and also Nov 1 (still hasn’t been 45 days) , but then the lease is not renewed out at the end of Nov. (assuming the 1st is the start date.)

I’m no lawyer and I’ve lost a few fights with landlords over this kind of thing. I would bet that if you wanted to move out today and she didn’t have anyone to move in, your landlord would interprate that clause quite differently.


Hmmm. It appears I am a tenancy at will and my state requires 60 days notice from the lessor to end a tenancy at will. Fun stuff.

(1) provides for an ongoing agreement, hence there is no “natural expiration of the lease” to trigger (2). (1) does not grant the lessor any right to cancel the month-to-month arraingment.

As I would interpret it, that particular lease expired on whatever date was written. After that date, month-to-month tenancy started, but the landlord put in two contradictory clauses describing how month-to-month works.

Depending on exactly how your state law overrides lease provisions, it seems like the 60 days notice might be in effect. To take an extreme example, even if your lease said your landlord can kick you out and change your locks without notice, the landlord can’t legally do that in most (or nearly all?) states.

Check out legal aid options in your area. Particularly if you’re in a big city and have low income, there are tons of tenant aid organizations eager to help you for free or cheap.

Your first provision does say that the lease ends and a new month-to-month contract begins. So I don’t think you can interpret the second provision in light of a never-ending lease.

There is a clear contradiction in the 30/45 day terms. If I were the resident manager dealing with these things, I would interpret that to mean that the tenant has a 30-day notice requirement (if the contract contradicts itself by saying 45 later, I’ll assume the lesser one), but that the landlord has a 45-day notice requirement (because the first provision does not talk about the landlord being able to cancel).

However, if I was the tenant, I’d be worried about having a landlord acting like a jerk to get another month of rent out of me. I’d try to get clarification in writing from the landlord first. If I didn’t like the answer, I might do some research to see if landlord-tenant laws have anything to say about the time period or how to handle a contradiction.

It says the lease ends. The lease ends. All other terms of the agreement continue except the term.

Yeah, you’re probably right. I was feeling a bit pedantic this morning.

IANAL (for about another month and a half :slight_smile: ) but I would say that the landlord (or even perhaps his lawyer) copied a form lease off of the internet and inserted two contradictory clauses.

A judge would have to make the final decision, but if I’m the judge, I say that the landlord drafted the contract, so he must bear the burden of the mistake. I would rule in your favor.*

*But again, IANAL, and not your lawyer, and your city/state may have laws stricter/more favorable than the common law.

Here’s how I interpret it:

If the Lessee stays beyond 1 year WITHOUT permission of the Lessor, it converts to a month-to-month lease and 30 days notification is required by the Lessee if/when they intend to end the lease.

If the Lessee stays beyond 1 year WITH permission of the Lessor, it converts to a month-to-month lease and 45 days notification is required by either party if they intend to end the lease.

Are you sure it doesn’t specify notice must be given ‘in writing’? Around here it always specifies such. I assume so the landlord can produce evidence he had cause to rent the unit to someone else, should the tenant change their tune, and not have moved out when agreed.

If they didn’t notify you in writing you can probably reset the clock, make them start again, this time in writing.

The wisdom of staying on where you are not wanted is entirely for you to gauge, of course!

Hey, it’s a legal contract. You’re allowed to be pedantic. Focus on the real issue of 30 vs 45 days. 'Round here (California) it’s pretty simple for landlords showing a tenant the door: 30 days for tenants less than a year, 60 days if over a year. That’s pretty common; a tenant rights lawyer in your area would be able to answer such a basic question easily.

Looking again at the language you posted, I think the 45 days applies only once, at the end of the original lease term. That is, 45 days notice prior to the end date if the landlord doesn’t want to continue to a month-to-month. I could be wrong.

What does it mean for a Lessee to be renting a unit without permission of the Lessor? Especially if the Lessor apparently has no mechanism to terminate tenancy?

The one provision specifically said “Should Lessee remain in possession of the demised premises with the consent of the Lessor after the natural expiration of this lease…”

So if there wasn’t consent, and he remained in possession of the premises, rule 1 would apply.

Once again, that’s my WAG.

I guess so. That would seem to open things up to a pretty crazy chain of events:

Landlord: Tenant, your one-year lease ends in a couple of months, on June 1. I don’t want to continue it; you’ll need to make plans to move by then.
Tenant: No, thanks. I like it here, and I’ll be staying.

Once Rule 1 kicks in on June 1, then as long as the tenant continues to pay rent he can’t be forced to leave? That scenario sounds nuts, even if that is what a strict reading of the contract might lead one to conclude.

I’m assuming you have paid first, last, and security deposit.

Tell the landlord that the law requires 60 days in writing, and either way you’re paid up through the end of the month with last months rent covering through the end of next month. You don’t want to overstay your welcome, but you need money to sign a new lease and if they return last months rent and your security deposit right away and give a good reference to anyone who calls you’ll work with them and find a new place as soon as possible.

IANAL but my understanding is that the common definition of month-to-month is that the lease renews at the end of the month, for a period of one more month, unless explicitly terminated by someone; and that the one-month period is the first to the last day of the month. Unless other start/end dates are specified in your lease (e.g. your four-month term began on the 15th of the month), I don’t think the landlord can make you move out in the middle of the one-month-long lease term.

Aside from the fact that your tenancy laws seem to require 60 days notice. Even if they’d given you 60 days, I still don’t think they could (legally) force you to vacate before midnight on the last day of the month.

I think that what usually happens is that the landlord doesn’t contact the tenant at all to inquire whether he plans on moving or staying. Why? Because if the tenant doesn’t give 30 days notice, he pockets another month’s rent. (See shiftless’ post)