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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 5928
Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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My family and I moved into a rental property Feb 8, 2014.

Customer Question

My family and I moved into a rental
property Feb 8, 2014. Our two year lease was up Feb 8, 2016. There was a verbal agreement that we would be on a month-to-month basis thereafter. The rental property has not had me sign anything since our two year lease. We are now trying to move out on Aug 1, 2016. Unable to speak to the rental office because they were closed on July 1, I contacted them today letting them know we would be moving on next month. We have until the 5th of each month to pay our rent. They are saying we will be responsible for Aug rent, because they were not informed on the first, however the office was closed. Am I obligated to pay for the month of Aug?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Will there be an answer to my question?
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

Under MD law, in periodic tenancies, such as month-to-month, where there is no applicable written lease, notice from tenant to landlord is per the common law; which requires that notice must be given and that the length of notice must be equal to the period of the tenancy, such as 1 week or 1 month See Hyder v. Montgomery County, 160 Md.App. 482, 864 A.2d 279 (2004).

More to come...

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
If the rental property was not open at the one month mark to make them aware that I would be moving, then what?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I want to move out August 1st, however notice on July 1st was not applicable due to them being closed. Today, they reopened and I called to make them aware however they are still trying to hold me accountable for rent in August though we will be moved out.
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

In order to avoid having to pay excess rent you need to give them 34 days notice to be on the safe side and mail it as well as hand delivery it. So, reissue the written notice tomorrow and add 34 days to it to count the move-out date. You would then only be responsible for 35 days of rent and not for the full month of August.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
basically stating that I would only owe them partial rent in August (1st through the 5th)?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Now what happens when I go there and they try to argue with me stating that I NEED to pay for the entire month of August?
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

If you want to give only 30 days notice, then yes. But, I would not risk it for the few extra days. The day of delivery is not counted as part of the notice time. Notices should always be given with time to spare, because being one day late can invalidate the notice.

Once you give adequate notice, then you can move out as planned. You need to tender the rent check and if they refuse to accept it, then you will need to document that in writing and you may even want to deposit the rent check in a separate bank account and let the LL and eventually the court know that you have done so.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I've already paid the rent due for the month of July, as we will still be living in their property then. I'm just concerned with the 30 day notice, as it is now the 5th and we've just made them aware. I did not want to be responsible for the entire month of August when we will be moved out by the 1st.
Please tell me if I have this right -- Give them written notice tomorrow (July 6th) making them aware, again, that we intend to move out August 1, 2016. Let them know I take responsibility for the entire 30 days, so I will pay partial amount owe in the few days of August.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Basically, I just want to make sure they are not allowed to charge me entire month on August's rent when we will be moved out of the property. And that I am willing to be responsible for few days after the 1st since I did not give notice at the beginning of this month. I hope I am making sense.
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

Yes, you got it.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Okay, please explain to me once more regarding when you said "add 34 days". Would that make me responsible for 9 days in August, or only 6 (when I turn in the written notice tomorrow)?
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

The first issue is whether a month is considered 30 days or 31 days since both July and August have 31 days.

The second issue is that if you mail it you need to add 3 days for mail time.

The third issue is that the day you provide notice does not count.

For all these reasons, I suggested that you give notice tomorrow and add 34 days to foreclose any argument that your notice is invalid and that you deliver the notice by hand delivery and by mail so there is a back-up in case dispute arises as to when and whether notice was ever received or given.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I will take it to them tomorrow and also mail. Thank you!!!
Expert:  Maverick replied 7 months ago.

You are welcome.

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