If you are a renter planning to move, you should know your rights and obligations pertaining to landlord notification. Rental agreements vary regarding rights of a tenant when vacating a property, but even if there is no written agreement, you should provide written notification of your intention to move.
Your rental agreement should specify whether you need to give a 30-day notice if you plan on moving. This is a common requirement for month-to-month leases, but yearly leases may be different.
Written Lease Agreements
If you have a written lease agreement or signed rental contract, the instructions for vacating your apartment should be stated in the lease terms. Most written agreements state there is a 30-day notice required to vacate an apartment. With some one-year lease agreements, even if a tenant provides a written notice to vacate, he may still be liable for the remaining amount of the lease.
Other agreements assess a penalty for early lease termination. It is always best to have a written lease agreement signed by landlord and tenant so both parties understand lease terms and have proper recourse if either party breaches any part of the agreement.
Verbal Lease Agreements
Sometimes no written agreement exists between landlord and tenant. Under the terms of a verbal agreement, most states allow the landlord to make changes by giving written notification to the tenant. The notice period is normally consistent with the rent period.
In other words, a month-to-month verbal lease would require the landlord to provide 30 days' written notice to the tenant for changes such as rent increases and notices to vacate. The tenant under these circumstances would be required to provide the landlord a notice to vacate within the same period of time. Normally notifications by any party are never less than 7 days regardless of rental terms.
Expired Lease Agreements
Often, month-to-month verbal lease agreements occur when a previous written lease agreement expires and a new agreement has not been signed. These verbal lease agreements continue the terms of the prior written agreement on the same rent schedule. The continued verbal agreement is enforceable by a landlord. Therefore if a 30-day notice was required under the prior written agreement, those terms would continue.
Breach of Agreement
The tenant may have rights to vacate and break a lease agreement if the landlord breaks the terms of a written agreement. In these cases, the tenant must document the circumstances of the broken lease agreement and be able to substantiate the claims. Written notice to the landlord would be required and the tenant would still owe any rent already accrued under the agreement. Consult an attorney in extreme cases involving breach of a landlord tenant agreement.
Tim Burris has over seven years experience writing and editing formal sales proposals and marketing materials. Tim has also worked as a freelance journalist for two news organizations. His cover story in "NUVO Newsweekly," Financial Disclosure, May 5, 2004, won an award from the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. Tim has a Bachelor of Science degree in business, finance from Indiana University.