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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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I signed a month-to-month lease with my landlord starting on

Customer Question

I signed a month-to-month lease with my landlord starting on December 1, 2015. I however, was not going to start living in the room until January 16th, 2016, as I am a graduate student and I was going to be out of town for the holidays. She knew this when I signed the lease.
On December 19th I received an email from her saying I had to move out in 30 days because she just sold her house and was going to move in to the house I am living in. I believe that she knew of an offer on her house at the time I signed the lease and knew that she would be telling me to leave even when I signed the lease.
1) is giving me notice via email acceptable? She said that she posted a physical letter on my door at the time. However, she waited until all the roommates had left for the holidays to do so, so I have no proof because she did not mail it.
2) I feel like because she did not disclose that she would be having me move out so soon after my move in date that I am entitled to compensation?
Any help that you could give me would be very appreciated. I am really tired of being taken advantage of by my landlords in California.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

Your landlord broke their contract (lease agreement) with you.

You can sue them in small claims court (see this link to the California Courts small claims self help site for additional information and all of the forms you will need:

Your damages are the actual costs you incur in finding a new unit, any incidentals (such as temporary housing while you are actively searching for a home), the difference in rent between the a new home and the current rent price (for example if your rent under the lease was $150.00/month and a reasonably comparable unit was renting for $200.00/month - you would be entitled to $50.00/mo x 12 months (the length of the initial lease agreement that the landlord is breaking).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did they break the lease with me even if I have a month-to-month agreement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no end date on my lease
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

My apologies, I apparently misread your question. I thought you had just signed a 12 month lease.

If you are on a month to month lease the tenant may terminate the lease on 30 days written notice, and the landlord may terminate the lease on:

  • if the tenant has lived in the unit for less than 12 months: 30 days written notice
  • if the tenant has lived in the unit for 12 months or more: 60 days written notice