If a landlord accepts my check for rent, does that mean I am a legal tenant?

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If a landlord accepts my check for rent, does that mean I am a legal tenant?

I am replacing tenant’s place in a lease in a condo. Unfortunately the previous tenant did not notify the landlord about my replacing her. I have been mailing the landlord rent and he has been cashing the check out. I am worried that I could be kicked out. But since he accepts my rent, would that mean he accepts me as a legal tenant?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are paying rent, then you are a tenant. However, if you do not have a written lease, you are a month-to-month tenant on an oral lease. That means that either you or the landlord could terminate the tenancy on 30 days notice--therefore, you are effectively on a tenant for month at a time, and the landlord could give you 30 days notice to leave.


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