What if I can’t find a new place after a 30-day notice?

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What if I can’t find a new place after a 30-day notice?

We have been on a month-to-month lease with our landlord since our lease expired. Just received a 30 day notice. Asked why we were given 30 days and it is due to renovations. We said we would renew the lease and was told that is not possible. Don’t understand because it was just renovated last year. Can we refuse to leave? What rights do we have?

Asked on August 22, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately you cannot refuse to leave. A month-to-month lease means that each "lease" is for one month. At the end of a lease term, neither party is obligated to renew it--i.e. you are equally free to walk away from the lease, as long as you provided the 30-day notice, as the landlord is. The property belongs to the landlord; he or she does not have to lease it to you, or indeed to anyone, if he or she does not want to.

You effectively don't have any rights in this situation, other than anything you could negotiate (e.g. offer the landlord a premium if she or he lets you stay an extra  2 months?). If you don't leave when the time is up, the landlord can evict you. While that may buy you an extra 2 - 3 weeks or so as the process unfolds, it could also make you liable for additional holdover rent as well.


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