My landlord gave me 30 days notice to move out of my room that I am renting as she is selling the house. She told me a couple days in advance (2 days ago) when she gave me the notice. I have a month-to-month verbal lease with her and pay her the 1st of every month. I have found a new place to move into quickly and am moving the 1st of the month. Do I still need to pay my old landlord rent for the room even if she told me that I have 30 days to move out?

I live in California and have been renting for less than a year.

  • 2
    As you can read, there's been some controversy! Are you moving to a new place today, May 1 or June 1?
    – mkennedy
    May 1, 2019 at 18:25

4 Answers 4


The relevant law in California is here. In your situation, it is presumed (as you both agree) that you have a month to month agreement. §1946 states that

A hiring of real property, for a term not specified by the parties, is deemed to be renewed as stated in Section 1945, at the end of the term implied by law unless one of the parties gives written notice to the other of that party’s intention to terminate the same, at least as long before the expiration thereof as the term of the hiring itself, not exceeding 30 days;

In other words, the landlord has to give you 30 days advance notice to terminate the lease, and you have to give 30 days advance notice to terminate the lease (and it must be written notice). The section continues:

provided, however, that as to tenancies from month to month either of the parties may terminate the same by giving at least 30 days’ written notice thereof at any time and the rent shall be due and payable to and including the date of termination.

which effectively says the same thing, specifically appliedd to month to month leases. There is some leeway on terminating a lease:

It shall be competent for the parties to provide by an agreement at the time the tenancy is created that a notice of the intention to terminate the same may be given at any time not less than seven days before the expiration of the term thereof. The notice herein required shall be given in the manner prescribed in Section 1162 of the Code of Civil Procedure or by sending a copy by certified or registered mail addressed to the other party.

But you would have to establish that there was such an agreement (I assume there was not).

§1946.1 asserts that

a hiring of residential real property for a term not specified by the parties, is deemed to be renewed as stated in Section 1945, at the end of the term implied by law unless one of the parties gives written notice to the other of his or her intention to terminate the tenancy, as provided in this section.

That is, a lease is automatically renewed in your situation unless notice has been given. Moreover,

A tenant giving notice pursuant to this section shall give notice for a period at least as long as the term of the periodic tenancy prior to the proposed date of termination.

What you are proposing contravenes this provision of the law – from your description of the facts, you did not give notice 30 days before now. So your obligation to the landlord exists to the end of May. Bear in mind that the law imposes obligations on both landlord and tenant: just as the landlord cannot throw you out without proper notification, you cannot walk away from your obligation without proper notification.

§1951.2 addresses breach of lease and abandonment by lessee (you)

if a lessee of real property breaches the lease and abandons the property before the end of the term or if his right to possession is terminated by the lessor because of a breach of the lease, the lease terminates. Upon such termination, the lessor may recover from the lessee:

(1) The worth at the time of award of the unpaid rent which had been earned at the time of termination;

(2) The worth at the time of award of the amount by which the unpaid rent which would have been earned after termination until the time of award exceeds the amount of such rental loss that the lessee proves could have been reasonably avoided;

(3) Subject to subdivision (c), the worth at the time of award of the amount by which the unpaid rent for the balance of the term after the time of award exceeds the amount of such rental loss that the lessee proves could be reasonably avoided; and

(4) Any other amount necessary to compensate the lessor for all the detriment proximately caused by the lessee’s failure to perform his obligations under the lease or which in the ordinary course of things would be likely to result therefrom.

There are, also, no special exceptions about landlords selling their property that allow instant termination.

That is, you still owe the month's rent, even though the lease is ending at the end of the month. You could of course ask the landlord to forgive you that last month's obligation. I am assuming that the lease was terminated properly by the landlord. If it was not, the landlord has not legally terminated the lease and it will continue until someone does properly terminate the lease. That might provide incentive for the other party to just forget the last month's rent, but it also might not.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – feetwet
    May 1, 2019 at 19:38

Either party may end a month-to-month tenancy on 30 days written notice. The tenancy ends 30 days after the notice is given, or on whatever later date is specified in the notice. That is, a party may choose to give more than 30 days notice, but is not required to.

So if notice was given on 29 April, the tenancy would end on 30 May, or more likely 31 may, if the notice was given for the end of the month, as is common (but not required).

If the tenant is moving out prior to the date specified in the notice, s/he will owe rent through the end of the tenancy. That basically means the rent for May. No further rent would be owned in that case.

If the tenant is not able to move prior to the date specified in the notice, but holds over into the following month, the tenant owes rent for the subsequent month. That is, for the month of June. However, if the move out date is early in June, and there is no other tenant moving in, it would seem reasonable of the landlord to pro-rate the rent and charge only for days actually used. However, the landlord is not required to do this.

Note that the notice must be in writing, and must explicitly specify the date when the tenancy will end. If the landlord gave only a verbal notice, the tenant could either ask for a written notice, or give notice to the landlord, specifying a date when the tenancy will end. If the notice was not in writing, and the tenant has already secured another residence s/he would be wide to do one or the other, so that there is no grounds for arguing that the tenancy was automatically renewed into June, and further rent is due.

That the landlord has sold the house explains the landlord's actions, but is not legally relevant in this case. The rights of the parties would be no different if the landlord simply decided to stop renting.

If the notice specified, say, the 29th of May, but the tenant cannot occupy the new residence until, say, 1 or 2 June, and the landlord refuses to prorate for those days, perhaps the tenant can arrange to stay elsewhere, with a friend or even in a motel. That might well be less expensive than paying an additional month of rent for only a day or two.

But the tennant's first move should be, I would think, to let the landlord know of the exact planned move-out date, and see if the landlord expects any rent for any part of June, and if so how much. No one would really benefit by a court case over this.

  • No, the landlord is required to change the amount of rent. lol
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 21:53
  • @Putvi I'd like to see a cite to the law that says this. It would be unique in my experience. That isn't what the law quoted by user6726 says. May 1, 2019 at 21:58
  • The law quoted by user6726 doesn't explicitly say either. You guys are trying to read into it, no offense.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 21:59
  • One can not offer to rent you a house for thirty days when they won't own the house for thirty days, though.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 22:00
  • 1
    @Putvi "one cannot offer to rent you a house for thirty days when they won't own the house for thirty days": that is incorrect. When a property is sold, any existing leases transfer to the new owner.
    – phoog
    Mar 31, 2022 at 7:36

First off, to help you guys understand the question, let me explain it to you.

  • A. The question was asked TODAY meaning Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
  • B. It says the required thirty day notice was given TWO days ago. That means it was given on Monday, April 29, 2019.
  • C. Thirty days including the first would be the Thirtieth!
  • D. The planned move takes place on the FIRST of June, 2019, as said in the question.
  • E. That means the days of the 31st of May to the 1st of June are not accounted for in the agreement.
  • F. The question is: Is a whole month's rent due for those days?

The answer is no, if you agreed on a price for a month, that does not mean that the same price applies for a portion of a month.

  • 1
    The question is,does the tennant plan to move before or after the date specified in the notice, which should be in writing, and may be 30 days, or more, from when notice was given. If before, rent is owned only to the date in the notice. If after and into the next month, the next months rent is legally owed, but might be pro-rated by agreement. Month to month rentals are for whole months, not shorter times, unless both parties agree otherwise. May 1, 2019 at 21:56
  • The move would be after the date specified according to how the question is written, but the house is being sold so an agreement by the month can not be offered and, therefore, can not be accepted.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 21:58
  • "an agreement by the month can not be offered and, therefore, can not be accepted": there's not a separate offer and acceptance every month; there's an existing tenancy that renews monthly. (Plus, as I noted in another comment, the tenancy survives the sale, so the fact of the sale has little or no bearing on the monthly renewal of the tenancy.)
    – phoog
    Mar 31, 2022 at 7:41

If you won't be staying for the month and literally can not, no you don't need to pay her.

  • I don't think this is correct. For month-to-month, normally you need to give 30 days notice if you move out. OP is talking about moving out today (or yesterday) so the May's rent.
    – mkennedy
    May 1, 2019 at 17:19
  • That is in reference to you choosing to move, not when someone is selling the house.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 17:20
  • I am not saying you are wrong that there are laws about that, but that isn't what was asked is what I meant.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 17:21
  • I'm afraid I don't understand. What do you think the OP was asking? OP moved out yesterday about the same time OP got the 30-day notice.
    – mkennedy
    May 1, 2019 at 17:48
  • The OP was asking if he/she has to pay a full months rent when he/she could not stay a whole month because the house was being sold. The answer to that is no, you don't have to pay rent for a month if you can not rent it for a month. That law does not address that.
    – Putvi
    May 1, 2019 at 17:50

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