What constitutes a month-to-month rental?

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What constitutes a month-to-month rental?

My tenant has been living in my rental house for less than a year. To my understanding it would be a month-to-month rent; to the tenants it was a 1 year contract agreement. The contract did say it was for a year. However, I left the dates blank thinking that by doing this it would be a month-to-month agreement. I gave the tenant a 30-day notice to leave because I need the house. I actually gave them the notice 2 months in advance. The tenant agreed and signed the notice. The problem is that the tenant is now threatening to take me to court if I do not repay her $4000. Also, none of us has a copy of the contract. What will happen if my problem with tenant goes to court?

Asked on August 24, 2011 California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A month-to-month rental of real property essentially is a thirty day (30) rental for a given piece of property. It is not a term beyond thirty (30) days. In such a lease, the landlord or tenant can terminate the lease typically with the required statutory notice as required by the law of a given state which is usually thirty (30) days.

If the contract you had or have stated that the lease was for a year, but you have lost it and the dates were not filled in, the lease was for a year. After the end of the year, most leases have provisions that any continuation of the lease would be on a month-to-month basis. State law usually confirms this.

If your tenant has been in the house for more than a year and the agreement was for a year, then it seems that the agreement is now a month-to-month agreement. As for the tenant's demand for $4,000 from you I do not see any legal basis for this demand for repayment as stated by you.

I have no idea what would happen if you go to court over this potential dispute but from what you have written, I like your chances of succeeding more than your tenant's.

Good luck.


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