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I’m on a month to month lease. I gave my landlord 41 days notice of intent to vacate, but they are saying they need 45 days as in the lease. The lease says I am responsible for the rent for the month following my move out move date (April 30, so I would be responsible for May’s rent). However, they also posted a listing for the unit on a realtor website with a May 1 availability, and have been showing the unit while advertising a May 1 move-in.

Since I told the landlord I was moving out April 30, am I obligated to both vacate AND pay rent for May? Or, can I decide to stay through May at any time before May 1?

This is in Hoboken, NJ, where the state law actually requires only 30 days notice to end a month to month: see “Ending a month-to-month lease” at http://www.lsnjlaw.org/Housing/Landlord-Tenant/Leases/Pages/Ending-Leases.aspx#.WtH9ARYpCEd enter image description here

  • Any chance you can post the exact language of the lease that says the thing about responsibility for the following month? – A.fm. Apr 14 '18 at 13:55
  • @A.fm. Added screenshot of relevant paragraph and highlighted the sentence to which I’m referring. – bcf Apr 14 '18 at 14:42
  • "I’m on a month to month lease. . . . The lease says I am responsible for the rent for the month following my move out move date[.]" Pretty much by definition, this is not a month to month lease. – ohwilleke Apr 15 '18 at 6:41
  • Wish I could help you, @bcf. I've not seen that sort of language in a lease - the 45 days related to a month-to-month lease sounds off. Seems to me it should just be 30 days for a month-to-month lease. I don't see how a landlord can get a full free month's worth of paid rent. – A.fm. Apr 15 '18 at 9:52
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If you want to know why the landlord is attempting to re-rent, see Sommer v. Kridel, a 1977 New Jersey Supreme Court case, which says in part:

A landlord has a duty to mitigate damages where he seeks to recover rents due from a defaulting tenant.

If the landlord has other vacant apartments besides the one which the tenant has abandoned, the landlord's duty to mitigate consists of making reasonable efforts to re-let the apartment. In such cases he must treat the apartment in question as if it was one of his vacant stock.

As part of his cause of action, the landlord shall be required to carry the burden of proving that he used reasonable diligence in attempting to re-let the premises.

So, if I read this correctly, if the landlord successfully rents the property to a new tenant, you aren't on the hook for rent if the new tenant is paying it for that time period. And if he doesn't even try to re-rent it, you also aren't on the hook, because the court will say that he should have tried.

  • The landlord's duty to mitigate never relieves a defaulted tenant of his or her contractual obligations under the lease and/or property/landlord-tenant law. Rather, it is so a landlord with a defaulting tenant doesn't just sit back, relax, and allow the problem to be exacerbated to his ultimate gain (free money for nothing). – A.fm. Apr 15 '18 at 9:39
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If It’s a month to month; technically they don’t have to let you stay beyond the current month you’ve paid for; unless the contract stipulates something that would allow you to work around the month to month “standard” lease contract.

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    Well, he would be required to give some length of time of prior notice before making him leave, which would vary state by state, but is often 30 days. Simply because it is a month to month lease, that does not mean that on June 24 or something, the landlord can say "You're out at the end of the month," which would be six days from that that day. – A.fm. Apr 15 '18 at 9:35
  • @A.fm. The lease states 45 days, but NJ law requires only 30 days: lsnjlaw.org/Housing/Landlord-Tenant/Leases/Pages/… see "Ending a Month to Month Lease". Can the lease override the state statutes like this? – bcf Apr 15 '18 at 21:56

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