TIME ON OUR HANDS

     There comes a time when some tenants want a month-to-month lease (or a non-renewal).   It could be a college student who is in their last year and doesn’t want to get stuck owing months of rent that’s left on a lease.  It could be a family buying their first house and requires a few months to get everything together.  Or, they’re looking for what they feel is a better bargain in another complex, house or condominium.  Regardless, how do you, as the landlord, handle the end-of-term notices?

     First, what is a month-to-month?  A month to month tenancy is created when the landlord allows the resident to stay after the expiration of the lease agreement, or in the event that there was never even a lease in the fist place and the resident pays monthly. The resident presumably continues to pay the rent money until such time as either the landlord or the resident decides to terminate the tenancy.

     What about the rent and notice?  If there is a short-notice (usually less than 15 days) the renter typically owed for the entire month.  The landlord’s non-renewal notice to the tenant must be accurate concerning this date. It is usually a good idea to “cross-notice” the resident with your own notice of non-renewal.  Please see your real estate attorney for a proper notice or cross-notice.

     Be careful with partial-acceptance of rent for the last month.  Often a resident will not give you proper notice OR will give you a partial rent payment covering the time period in which they will stay. If you accept that partial payment, you may be accepting the “terms” of the resident’s notice, be it proper or improper. If you take a partial rent payment when the resident has given you insufficient notice, you may not be able to charge the resident for the remaining days in the month in which he leaves, even if he has otherwise given you proper notice.


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