What constitutes a month-to-month rental?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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