What to do if you need an extra month to move out at the end of your lease?

My building switched owners and the new landlord has been very negligent. Doing things ranging from cutting water, electric and gas without notice on a number of occasions to entering my apartment also without notice. Despite spoken agreement that rent would not increase, now the landlord will not renew my lease and wants me to move out at the end of the month. I will happily move out but I need an extra month; they are not willing to extend the lease however for that month. They e-mailed me an informal note (02/04/11) that I did not read until the beginning of March. Anything I can do?

Asked on March 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, tender the rent for the month of April in the same manner as always and in the same amount as March.  Then they will have to reject the money and start a summary proceeding to evict you.  Summary proceedings are "quick" proceedings in that they are not supposed to take years like regular court cases.  But in reality they can take at least two weeks by the time that you are served with notice to vacate and then they start the eviction with service of a summons and complaint.  The informal note can be ignored.  It does not count as notice and it was not properly served.  Now, when they start the action in Court file an answer to the petition (that is what it is called) and then file counterclaims against the landlord for breach of warranty of habitability and breach of your lease agreement.  List the issues you state here - gas, water, etc - and ask for an abatement of the rent.  Ask to deposit the money for the rent for April in to Court.  It will give you time and may even get you a free month's rent. 


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