How much notice must a tenant give to terminate a month-to-month commercial lease?

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How much notice must a tenant give to terminate a month-to-month commercial lease?

My commercial lease expired 5 years ago. Landlord did not renew though I requested. I stayed on paying month-to-month. Gave 1 month verbal notice that I’m leaving at months end. He now claims I owe him 4more months rent. Do I have any responsibility since we do not have any written lease?

Asked on January 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Commercial lease can in fact be month to month when the lease term expires.  However, commercial leases are often for much longer duration than residential lease and they often have renewal options associated with them.  Here is where you can get in to trouble with what is known s the Rule against Perpetuities which is way to confusing to discuss here in this forum.  What I am assuming is that your landlord may be referring to some provision that you agreed to in the original lease, is that correct? The term of the original lease generally remain in effect on a month to month bass upon the expiration of the lease itself so one would have to read the lease for you.  Certainly I can tell you that verbal notice was probably not a good idea and probably not allowed in your original lease.  But it really needs to be read to see what your landlord's obligations were as to renewal and notices along with your as well.  Good luck.


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