Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

45 day notice to terminate tenancy

We have month-to-month lease. Owners want to sell the property and we would not agree to a lock box. We were served with a 45 day notice to terminate tenancy. In the original lease it states it may be ''cancelled by either party by giving a written notice to the other at least 30 days prior to the intended termination date. If tenant moves for any reason in the first 12 months of occupancy, tenant agrees to pay a fee in the amount of 100% months rent.'' We want to leave before the 45 days because we have an opportunity to move somewhere else. The prop. mgmt. co. is saying we have to stay for the full 45 days and pay rent for the entire time. They said they are doing us a favor by not charging us the penalty. Do we have to stay the full 45 day? Can they legally charge us a penalty when they are the ones that gave the notice? They also just sent us a ''Confirmation of Termination of Tenancy'' in the mail that says ''This letter is to confirm receipt of your 45 day written notice to vacate.'' We didn't give any notice, THEY did. Please advise what our rights are. We left a large deposit and are afraid they may try to keep the ''penalty'' and any rent we don't pay if we leave before the 45 days! We've only lived here since April 1st.

Asked on 8/23/06, 11:43 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

H.M. Torrey The Law Offices of H.M. Torrey

Re: 45 day notice to terminate tenancy

Typically speaking, the landlord or entity giving the notice pursuant to the agreement cannot recover "liquidated damages" for "throwing you out of your home" per se. a 45 day notice would normally mean you have up to 45 days to vacate, and not mean that you cannot move for 45 days. It sounds like your landlord either does not know the law, refuses to obey the law, or should seek "mental therapy" period. However, like with most, if not all agreement, the actual terms dictate the rights and obligations of the parties, if such terms are deemed legally enforceable. So, your best course of action here, would be to have an attorney review your existing lease and help you with a plan of action from there, before you do anything hasty that could adversely affect your rights or the landlord's obligations under the lease. If you would like prompt, affordable legal assistance in reviewing your lease agreement, contact our Law Firm today. God Bless.

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Answered on 8/24/06, 2:54 pm

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