What is CA law position on breaking 1 year lease with 30 day written notice?

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by inhousec, Sep 2, 2008.

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  1. inhousec

    inhousec New Member

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    I signed a 1-year lease starting Jan 2008. So I have 4 months to go.

    The main lease which is a residential lease-rental agreement and deposit receipt (Form 105.1 CAL (12-2005) by Professional Publishing states, "1. Term. The term will commence on Jan 8 2008 and continue until LEASE January 7, 2009 for a total rent of $17,400...." Rent is payable @$1,450 per month.

    The Addendum to Lease/Rental Agreement and Deposit Receipt states "7. Notice to Vacate - a Minimum of 30 (thirty) day written notice is required from each Tenant to vacate. See Term#19 Notices - page 3 of lease agreement regarding delivery. A 30-day notice is required on multiple month or month-to-month leases. Tenant will allow the showing of the property during the 30-day notice period with proper 24-hour notice."

    I am moving out of the area and provided a 30-day notice in writing that I was vacating per the addendum to the main lease agreement. The landlord is now saying that I cannot vacate because I signed a 1 year lease. I am confused because the addendum specifically provides for a 30-day written notice to vacate which I provided.

    In the meantime, as a precautionary measure, I have put placed an ad to advertise the upcoming availability of the apartment. But I am afraid that I will be at a disadvantage in reducing potential losses given the history of this apartment in locating a tenant (it took them almost 3 months to find me, the new tenant, because the previous tenant committed suicide. They are required by law to let the new tenant know this for the next 3 years. I was also given a 2 week rent free stay based on this suicide presumably at the start of my lease.)

    Please advise my options, potential pitfalls, and retention rate of security deposit.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Gail_in_Georgia

    Gail_in_Georgia Moderator

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    In a month to month lease agreement, a tenant is typically required to give only 30 days notice. The lease terminates at the end of these 30 days.

    While a year lease may state that a 30 day notice is required, this does not release the tenant of financial responsibilities unless the unit is rerented or the lease runs out. Appropriate notice that one is breaking a one year lease (as you are) allows the unit to be put up for rent and, hopefully, rerented before that one month is out.

    The landlord has a responsibility to put forward an effort to try to rerent this unit. In addition, many tenants will do what you are doing; also advertising the unit.

    If it not rented in that time period, the landlord can use part of your security deposit to pay for the additional rent you owe. They can also sue, both for any damages above normal wear and tear and for any additional months of rent you owe until another tenant can be found.

    Gail
     
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  3. inhousec

    inhousec New Member

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    Hi Gail, thank you for your prompt and detailed response. Please bear with me. When I signed the lease, I noted the 30-day notice to vacate clause or I wouldn't have signed at all. Is there any way I can argue that the 30 day notice clause prevails regardless? Much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  4. jacksgal

    jacksgal Super Moderator

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    No there is not you signed a contract and its binding. What you can do is talk to Landlord and come to an agreement, if you can on early termination. This will likely cost you several months and possibly your security deposit. You can find CA rental laws below


    http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/index.shtml
     
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