Can I break my month-to-month lease and get my deposit back?

I have made several complaints about my neighbor’s drug activity and violence/ noise problem. My landlord has done nothing to stop these problems and now my house has been broken into and my TV was stolen. I’m pretty sure it was my neighbor. Can I break my lease because of my landlord’s neglegance and get my deposit back?

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you have a month-to-month lease, then you need only give a 30 day notice to legally terminate it (deliver it on the date that you normally pay your rent). I suggest giving the notice to your lndlord by certified mail, return receipt requested; this way you'll have proof that he properly received it. Then when you move out at the end of the month, assuming that you did not damage your apartment, you should be entitled to your full security deposit (plus state mandated interest). If not, you can pursue your landlord in small claims court for the return of your deposit.

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