Greetings to all who are far more in tune with Law-speak than myself! I appreciate your taking the time to look at this important issue I am trying to find a solution to.
In summary, I signed a 1 year lease almost a year ago for the residence I just left. The lease indicated that if I intend to end the lease early I must give a 60 day notice to the Landlord, in writing, before I can leave and that I would be responsible for any/all rent not collected by a potential new tenant should they be unable to find one.
I had received a letter indicating that my lease was about to expire, some time before the 60 day cut-off point (but not by much) that indicated I had three options:
1) Renew the lease and pay another $10/month for the new lease. 2) Go onto month-to-month for an extra $35/month. 3) Move out before the lease expires.
Number 2 was the option I was going to take since I was in the middle of looking for a new job out of town, and thus, planning to find a new place to live when that happened, but I never actually chose that option because the letter indicated that would be what automatically happened if I didn't return the letter.
As luck would have it, I accepted a job 3 weeks before my lease expires, found an apartment and moved to that apartment at great cost in money and time. My landlord got wind of this, called me, and told me I never gave a 60 day notice, so I politely indicated to them that according to my research, Wisconsin law indicates I only need to give a 28 day notice if I am on month to month, so I told them they would be getting a written notice at the beginning of next month to coincide with that 28 day notice, versus their ridiculous 60 day notice requirement for being on the lease. The reason I did this is because I didn't want to be on the hook for potentially 2 more months of rent, since I do not trust my landlord to fill the vacancy quickly when I am gone. My landlord told me that I "have it all wrong" that despite being on month-to-month I am still on lease and that I am to be held to the 60 day notice regardless.
For your reference, what I am referring to as my "research" is the following information:
Notice Requirements for Wisconsin Tenants
It is equally easy for tenants in Wisconsin to get out of a month-to-month rental agreement. You must provide the same amount of notice (28 days) as the landlord (unless your rental agreement provides for a shorter amount of notice). Be sure to check your rental agreement which may require that your notice to end the tenancy be given on the first of the month or on another specific date.
In some situations, you may be able to move out with less (or no) notice—for example, if your landlord seriously violates the rental agreement or fails to fulfill legal responsibilities affecting your health or safety.
That information can be found here, and on a few different websites: Wisconsin Notice Requirements to Terminate Month to Month Tenancy
So my question is, am I allowed to give my 28 day notice at the end of this month/beginning of this month and not be held accountable for the month after? I do know I will have to pay this coming month's rent (+$35 for the month-to-month agreement) and that I am still responsible for utilities during that time as well, but I do not believe according to the information I provided here that I will be held responsible for the month after next (October) and that my landlord is basically trying to con me out of another month of rent.
Please advise; I am certainly thankful for anyone taking the time to research this for me. I've tried calling a non-profit center that helps with this sort of thing in my state, but they've yet to call me back and the end of the month is approaching.