What to do ifour landlord rejected our written 30-days-notice?

UPDATED: Mar 10, 2012

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What to do ifour landlord rejected our written 30-days-notice?

We are on a month-to-month lease. We gave a 30 days written notice of moving out. The landlord rejected it. She claims we had a verbal agreement to stay 6 months. This verbal agreement never occurred. She is a liar. She said she will sue us and win. Additionally: She has canceled our trash service that we already paid for. She walked into our back yard uninvited to state that she will fight us and win. We assume she will try and keep our security deposit as well. How can we protect ourselves?

Asked on March 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) 30-days notice is all that is required for a month-to-month lease.

2) An oral lease (sometimes incorrectly called a verbal lease or agreement) is by definition a month-to-month lease--to have a lease for longer, or require more notice, requires a written lease.

From what you write, your landlord has no basis for requiring more notice. If she sues you to try to get the money, you would seem to have an excellent chance of winning.

3) If she wrongfully withholds your security deposit, you may sue her to get it back. She can only lawfully withhold amounts necessary to repair damage you did (beyond normal wear and tear) or for unpaid rent which you legitimately owed.

4) If you end up in litigation with her (either she sues or you sue), you could also claim for the money she owes you for the service which you paid for but which she improperly cancelled.

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