If I move out of a month-to-month tenancy am I responsible for finding a replacement tenant in order to get my security deposit back?

I moved into a house where two other guys live. One of them is a renter of the house. I didn’t sign any agreement/lease term when I moved in. He told me that he wants me to let him know when I know I’m moving. He didn’t specify the period, but I gave him a 30-day notice with a letter since I didn’t have a chance to talk to him directly because of tight schedule. Now he told me that I need to find somebody to rent a room to take over. Otherwise, he won’t give me my deposit back and I need to continue to pay the rent. Is it really my responsibility to do so?

Asked on December 12, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

With a month to month tenancy, you only need to provide 30 days notice to cease your tenancy. If you have provided that notice, you don't owe the landlord (the person you're renting from) anything else. If you failed to provide 30 days notice, then the most additional rent you can held liable for is one month (i.e. the notice period you should have provided). If you should owe any rent when you move out, the landlord may use the deposit to satisfy it; he may also use the deposit to repair damage you did to the premises; otherwise, the landlord may NOT hold the deposit and must return it to you.

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