What constitutes an enforceable lease?

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What constitutes an enforceable lease?

I had a 1 year written lease that was up 4 months ago. A new lease was never sent to us to sign. We told the landlord that we were moving after living here for 3 months with no lease but were informed that they will take us to court because we had a “verbal lease”. I never said I would stay another year. I said “I think we will stay” and have this in a text message. Is there any way she can enforce this? We are buying a house and will be moving into it the end of thiss month. After that are we entitled to our deposit back if the house is cleaned and we have done work out of our pocket to improve the home?

Asked on July 6, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

With out a written and signed agreement you are what is known as a month to month tenant.  Period.  Text messaging is not generally proper evidence, especially if some one else could have had access to your phone to write it.  But understand that you need to give proper notice of moving and that is one month.  It is best to have done that in writing.  Security deposits are generally used for damage above the "normal wear and tear" but double check your state law.  If you do not get in back you will need to sue and maybe even add the improvements that should have been done by the landlord but were not reimbursed for leverge.  Good luck.


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