Recently, a close friend of mine found herself in a difficult situation with her landlord. My friend, the tenant, had been living in her apartment for 6 years. After much thought she decided it was time to move into a bigger space. She did what most potential tenants do these days. She went online, searched for vacancies, viewed a few properties, applied for the one she liked the most, and entered into a new lease agreement.
When she signed the lease for her new place, she then gave her landlord a verbal notice to terminate her tenancy. Her landlord explained that she had to provide a written 30 day notice to vacate. The landlord also mentioned that my friend was still responsible for a portion of the next month’s rent. This may sound like a harsh response, but the reality is, it is the proper response.
In the state of California, tenants who wish to end a periodic rental agreement are required to provide proper written notice to the landlord. In California, the number of days between rental periods should guide the amount of notice given to a landlord. If you pay rent on a monthly basis the notice should be given 30 days prior to terminating the lease agreement.
A tenant is allowed to provide notice during any point of their rental period; however the tenant is still responsible for the full rent during the period covered by the notice. As an example, let’s pretend a tenant pays rent every 1st of the month. This tenant gives a notice to terminate their tenancy on the 16th of the month. The tenant is still responsible for rent until the 16th of the following month regardless if they have moved out of the unit before the 16th.
It is important for both tenants and landlords to understand the terms of the lease agreement. Tenants have a duty to provide proper notice, just as landlords do. Before a tenant enters into a new lease agreement, it is important to fulfill the terms of their previous lease agreement. This includes providing proper notice to the landlord, paying any outstanding balances, and leaving the unit in a satisfactory condition.