I have leased an apartment for 2 years currently. As of May 1, 2011, our 12 month lease came to an end. On the lease, there is a statment that the lease will not renew automatically after the end date. So, as of May 1, 2011, we have been living under no lease, aparently. Our Landlord has consistently cashed our rent checks of $650 on or around the first of the month even past May 1st and to this date. I never received a call or notification that our lease was expired. I called to let her know that we would like to renew the lease in June. She sent a lease but we never signed nor returned the lease. So technically (or I would imagine) we are still living under no lease. We now need to move out in the next two weeks because my girlfriend accepted a job in Virginia. She requires a 60 day notice on moving, a pentaly of the security deposit plus one month's rent ($1300), and to continue to pay rent until a new party has signed a new lease.
My question is can we leave whenever we need to without fear of this huge pentalty or credit risk since we have never signed or returned the new lease?
Thank you in advance
1 Answer from Attorneys
Generally in PA, when a lease is not renewed and the landlord allows the tenant to hold over abd remain living there, the lease is deemed a month to month lease. Especially due to the statement in the lease that the lease will not renew automatically. Otherwise you would be stuck. As the tenancy is now deemed to be a month to month tenancy under the law, it is my opinion that written 30 days notice is required to the landlord that. Is required and I don't believe the 60 day notice provision is enforcible. The landlord will obviously fight you over the security deposit, but the security deposit only applies to damages to the premises. I think you do have to pay one month's rent at the time you give notice. I don't think that a judge would hold you responsible for the penalties, but you never know what a judge is going to do. In any event, you should give 30 days written notice imnmediately, and see a lawyer if the landlord tries to collect the penalties.