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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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My fiance and I submitted a notice (40 days prior to out

Customer Question

My fiance and I submitted a notice (40 days prior to out move date) to our landlord and gave it to him on February 29, 2016. It was professionally written and clear that we will be moving on April 9th, 2016. However, yesterday on March 4th, 2016, we received a letter dated from March 1, 2016 from our landlord that states "Your move out date is March 31 !" Written exactly in this way. Is this valid as a 30 day move out notice? And if so, does that mean our move out date is valid for April 4th, 2016?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

You have a somewhat complicated situation here.

In Minn. Notice is effective on date received, not date sent, see:

The landlord is entitled to shorten your tenancy (I will use a different, exaggerated, example to avoid confusion)

  • Tenant gives 90 days notice on Jan. 1
  • Landlord receives notice on Jan. 3 (Effective day)
  • Landlord decides to reply with their own 30 day notice on Jan. 10
  • Tenant receives landlord's notice on Jan. 15 (Effective day)
  • Tenant must vacate on Feb. 14 (30 days from date of notice effective day)

In your case, the landlord has attempted to shorten your notice period from 40 days to 30 days, but has given improper notice (sent you 30 days, dated March 1, but received March 4 (effective day), which would give you until April 3).

You have 2 options:

  1. Ignore the situation and wait for the landlord to try to enforce their ineffective notice, usually by an unlawful detainer (eviction) action. I don't recommend this option as even if you prevail due to the ineffective notice, you will still have an unlawful detainer action on your record, it costs a lot of time and money to deal with this problem, and litigation always carries a risk that you can lose (a judge has to agree with you).
  2. Contact the landlord, notify them that the notice is improper, and that they must provide you with new (proper) 30 days notice if they wish to terminate the lease earlier. If you are fortunately, the receipt of a new (proper) 30 day notice will put you closer to your original goal of April 9.

Ensure that you keep your communications with your landlord in writing (email or USPS) to ensure that you have a written record. If you speak to him by phone, promptly send a "confirmation letter" confirming when you talked, what you talked about, and any follow up action that will be taken.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also have a question about rental licensing? We have asked, but they have not shown us any proof of a rental license, nor is it posted at the house that we are renting. How do I know that he has a valid license to be renting this property? There are a lot of issues with this house- for example, we were told that we would be compensated by reduced rent if we took care of the lawn and snow- however, he changed his mind after the first few times that we mowed the lawn. He said, "when you own your own house, you have to be responsible for these things, so we will not reduce your rent and it is your responsibility to take care of the lawn and snow". In Fall 2015, we started using the heat because it was getting very cold, but the heater wasn't working well. We informed the landlord, by mouth, that something is wrong with the furnace, but he did not do anything about it. In December/January- the furnace completely died. We were not receiving any heat at all. We were without heat for about 2 days and in the process of trying to fix the furnace, he provided to us a small, space heater that did not keep us warm.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

While these issues would be matters that you would raise in breach of contract and breach of the "implied warranty of habitability" (particularly the heat) actions during the term of your tenancy, there is not a lot that you are going to do with it now that you are vacating the property.

You can consider suing the landlord in small claims for money damages related to reduced value in the tenancy or increased cost of heating, etc. - but frankly, these claims are not generally worth the time and expense of doing so. If your landlord decides to try to sue you or withholds your security deposit so that you end up in court anyway, you can consider raising the issues there, but independently these aren't usually worth the time and expense of litigating after you have vacated.

(Again, just to ensure there isn't any confusion - if you were planning on staying in the unit, you absolutely could sue the landlord for those causes of action I identified above, and force him to keep the unit safe and clean, it just generally isn't worth your time once you leave - the difference in timing is very significant as the court's primary remedy is to force the landlord to perform (i.e. fix the heat)).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there a time period to reply to the notice that we received yesterday?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

There isn't a statutory time period. But as I noted above, you will want to deal with it proactively - your other option is to simply ignore it and risk an unlawful detainer action if the landlord chooses to enforce it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thank you so much for your help!
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.

Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service so that I can receive credit for assisting you.

If you would like to direct future questions to me specifically, you can do so by starting your new question with "For William B. Esq." and a moderator will notify me.

Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No thank you, ***** ***** all my questions answered:)
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Please do not forget to rate my service (there should be a series of 5 stars on the page for you to select from) - it both ensures that I receive credit for assisting you, and it closes out the question on my side.

My apologies for the follow up, I do not mean to clutter your inbox.