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Trying to extend allowed time in rental.

Discussion in 'Moving In & Out, Movers' started by Renter for Now, Sep 19, 2022.

  1. Renter for Now

    Renter for Now Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    My family and I have been in a rental home for approximately 10 years in San Antonio, TX. The first year we were in a lease, and after that we have just paid monthly with no written contract.


    We have always paid our rent on time, and have had no problems with the owners (privately owned by a local couple).


    The husband passed away around 2017, the wife sold another of her properties to improve her financial situation. She had always assured us she would not be selling the house in which we live. In about March of this year she called and wanted us to allow an immediate inspection (no notice) of the house so she could determine its value to sell. My wife and I are not in the best of health and I was able to get her to wait a month or so. However, a couple of weeks or so later she called and had changed her mind. With an increase in rent (which was acceptable to us) she was no longer going to sell the house. Herr and her new husband had changed plans, and would sell the house the currently live in.


    Now back to the present, about two weeks ago she called, and wanted immediate access again to decide what she wanted to do with the house. I was able to get her to wait about a week and a half as no notice makes it hard for us to manage.


    She came in this last Saturday, the 17th of September. She had a good look around, and the house was in better shape than she expected. I have been taking great care of it, and usually handle repairs out of my own pocket with my own ability. She didn’t seem to have any concerns about the condition that were anything in our power to control.


    So today she called, and has decided to have us out by November 1st. She will not accept higher rent or payment to extend that. My wife has surgery on the 27th of this month, and will not be able to lift anything for six weeks.


    After the owners constant assurance that she wasn’t going to sell, and then no notice when she has decided to, twice, is there anything we can do to extend our ability to stay in this house longer?


    We definitely want to move, but with my wife’s surgery, medical expenses, and no real warning it would be better for us to have till December or preferably the first of the year.


    Thank you
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Money talks. Otherwise, no.

    A month-to-month tenancy is subject to being terminated at any time, without cause. As long as your landlord gives you proper written notice, that's all that's needed.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I've been trying to find where in Texas law that it defines "notice" to include a requirement that said notice be in writing. I haven't found it, but it could be that it's found in case-law. In any case, written notice is always best in order to prove that proper notice was given.
     
  5. Renter for Now

    Renter for Now Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That is what I thought. Thank you all.

    Can anyone verify that written notice is required? We are going to do our absolute best to be out, but since she only called and gave verbal notice, how stressful could she make it if I need to ask for written notice at a later date to extend our stay?
     
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest not playing games. Things will be MUCH easier for you. You have received (and acknowledged) the notice that you did receive.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Some Texas renters have month-to-month agreements with their landlords, rather than a year-long lease. Often, month-to-month leases are verbal, so the terms can seem murky. But Texas law is clear—both landlords and tenants can end their agreement at any time, as long as they give the other person 30 days advance notice.

    Tenants with an expired or verbal lease agreement are month-to-month...

    Month-to-month leases are one type of periodic tenancy, which means they renew automatically at the end of every rent payment period.

    There are typically three ways to establish a month-to-month tenancy in Texas:

    1. The landlord and tenant signed a written lease that explicitly created a month-to-month tenancy.

    2. The landlord and tenant signed a fixed-term lease that expired—but the tenant kept paying rent and the landlord accepted those payments, thus establishing a month-to-month agreement.

    3. There is no written lease, but the tenant pays rent monthly.

    A month-to-month tenancy is different than a fixed-term tenancy, which has a set start and end date (often a year, but not always).

    There are pros and cons to both sorts of agreements: month-to-month tenancies are more flexible, but they are also more unpredictable, since either party could end them at any time with just 30 days’ notice.

    At least one month’s notice (30 days) is required to end most month-to-month leases.

    Texas law does allow landlords to establish a shorter or longer notice period in the lease, if a tenant signed a lease that said only 24 hours’ notice is required to terminate the lease, that is legal.

    (This only applies if there’s a written lease, however. If it’s a verbal agreement, 30 days notice is always required.)

    The notice provides the tenant with thirty (30) days to vacate the rental unit. If the tenant does not move out within the thirty (30) day period, the landlord can then sue them for possession of the property by filing an eviction suit in Justice of the peace or municipal court.
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Chapter 91, quoted earlier, does not specify that the notice has to be in writing.

    Chapter 92, the chapter specific to residential agreements, does not address month to month termination.

    Texas Property Code Title 8, Chapter 92 (2021) - Residential Tenancies :: 2021 Texas Statutes :: US Codes and Statutes :: US Law :: Justia

    I went to Google Scholar and searched appellate decisions regarding 91.001. In each case that the statute was cited there was no requirement that the notice had to be in writing.

    91.001 - Google Scholar

    You can review those cases if you like.

    My conclusion is that oral notice suffices and if you are not out by Nov 1 the owner can file for eviction through the courts, which is something you certainly do not want.

    Your situation evokes sympathy but if you can't get the owner to bend, you'll have to do what it takes to be out by Nov 1.
     

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