Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

My two roommates and I tried to give 30-day notice and the landlord says one of my roommates is bound to a 6-month agreement. After the following explanation, can you tell me if this is true?

More than 30 days before our 1-year lease was up for our apartment at the end of August, myself and my current roommate asked the landlord about getting a new roommate (the other person on the lease wanted to move out). The new person went through the screening/application, and - after talking with the landlord - moved in. We never received a new lease.

We proceeded to ask the landlord for a 6-month lease as we knew he was planning to sell the apartment building soon but hadn't been told when. He said he would send it to us and never did. This was in an email exchange between the landlord and an original roommate (who stayed) - I did not see these emails. We didn't push to get the lease because he had ignored the first inquiry and he didn't seem in a hurry to get us to leave.

Now, two months after our original lease was up two of us decided to move after finding a wonderful place. The third roommate agreed to leave as well. Believing we are renting month-to-month because we did not receive a new lease (to add the new person), the same roommate again emailed our landlord to tell him of our plans and give him 30 days notice. He responded saying she is bound to the six-month term discussed because she had agreed to it. When she suggested he contact us, he said it is just between them. I was also on the original lease and am worried my roommate is being taken advantage of. What should we do?

Asked on 11/05/14, 4:25 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

The law is clear that when a fixed term lease expires, and the tenant remains in the property paying rent to the landlord, the lease is deemed renewed on a month to month basis. (Civ. Code, sect. 1945.)

A month to month tenancy is terminated with a 30 day notice. If you haven't signed a new lease agreement, then you are a month to month tenant and your 30 day notice is proper. The fact that the landlord was planning on having you execute a new fixed term lease is irrelevant.

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Answered on 11/07/14, 1:43 am

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