Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Can landlord lease your apartment out without letting you attempt to renew your

Have lived in an apartment 2 years and always paid on time. Lease expires 8/15/01 and called landlord to renew. Landlord says they sent notice to everyone in February (a flyer?) asking to return it if they wanted to renew. (We did not receive any such flyer) Landlord says since they did not receive their notice back then that they leased our apartment to someone else starting 8/15/01. Is this legal? Shouldnt we have the chance to renew a lease? Dont they have to get some sort of POSITIVE response from us rather than go with ''no reply''. Do we have any recourse?

Asked on 7/16/01, 10:13 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: Can landlord lease your apartment out without letting you attempt to renew y

Unless you live in a community with local ordinances governing tenants' rights, the answer is that when a long-term lease expires and the parties have not communicated with each other, the lease does not renew automatically and both parties -- landlord and tenant -- have no further obligation or rights under the lease. Well, almost no further rights. If you remain on the property after the expiration date, you become a "tenant at sufferance" -- not quite a trespasser -- and subject to eviction. If the landlord subsequently accepted rent from you, you could be elevated one step further, to a periodic tenancy, but that is unlikely if the place is already re-leased.

One final suggestion is to re-read your old lease carefully, looking for provisions affecting your right to renew and renewal procedures. It's a long shot, but there might be something helpful in there. Landlord-drafted leases are interpreted favorably to the other party (the tenant).

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Answered on 7/17/01, 4:32 pm

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