Is it legal for my landlord to give me a 30-day notice prior to the expiration of our agreed to lease termwithout cause?

A friend invited me to live with him and his parents in their home because I had to leave my rented apartment. They said I could live with them for 1year. They charged no rent but there were rules which I kept to (eg. chores, cleaning, quietness,s etc). No signed contract but many e-mails. I did offer them money for food/utilities which they would not take. Prior to moving in it seemed they regretted their offer. They’ve never given me a key meaning I have to rely on them to let me in. Now they are evicting me 3 months before e-mailed (not signed) move-out date for no good reason. Can they legally do this?

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are stating that you are a month to month tenant but they seem to have been treating you as an uninvited guest.  But if they are going to say that you are a month to month tenant then they can try and evict you with a 30 day notice.  Can they do this "legally" will depend on how the Judge rules your "tenancy" in this matter.  If you are going to say that you have an oral lease that expires in 3 months then you are going to have to fight them in landlord tenant court.  Problem here is that you have no key and autonomy as a tenant would and you are really only renting a room, correct?  I would seek consultation from an attorney in your area here.  You need to see if all the elements of a rental contract are met and if it really pays for you to fight them.  It may just be time to bargain down the time you have left and move on a bit earlier.  Good luck.   


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