No notice? Tenant still liable for rent

Inman news

Question: I rented out a room in my home for eight months. The tenant gave me a $100 deposit, and her rent was due on the first of each month. On the last day of the month she just up and moved out without any notice and left me a note directing me to mail her the deposit back. Do I owe her the deposit since she gave me no notice that she was moving? We had no lease or rental agreement.

Answer: Although you have nothing in writing, you had a month-to-month agreement with your roomer. Oral understandings are legal and enforceable. To properly terminate her tenancy, she needed to give you the legally required notice -- 30 days in California and many other states. When tenants move out, they remain liable for rent for the notice period, measured from the date they left. You may use the deposit to cover unpaid rent, so apply it to the number of days’ notice your tenant should have given you.

-- Janet Portman, Inman news



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