Do I have to give 60 days notice to terminate a month-to-month lease if the original lease required 60 days notice?

I have been renting a townhouse for 10 years. The original lease was for 1 year and then went month to month. Lease required 60 days termination notice but no new lease or addendum was signed after the 1 year. Under VA law, I was told by my real estate agent that 60 days notice under a month-to-month lease without an addendum is illegal. I would like to know if there are any legal ramifications that are possible against me if I vacate the premises after 30 days notice and do not pay the last 30 days of the 60 days notice.

Asked on July 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A month-to-month lease only requires 30 days notice. If there is no lease in force (e.g. the original lease expired and was never renewed; you simply stayed on as a holdover tenant, becoming a month-to-month tenant), the you only owe the normal notice for a month-to-month lease. If you provide that notice, you have honored your obligations and would not owed any additional rent. A notice provision--or any provision--under an expired lease is not binding on anyone.

Assuming you could be ready to leave on 30 days notice, it's probably better to give more like 35 - 40 days notice; that avoids any fights over whether you actually provided enough notice, and if the landlord makes you leave when the 30 days are up, you just move on a little early. People get in trouble sometimes when they try to cut things too fine and realized they miscounted somehow.


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