How far in advance should i give my notice...

ma28March 6, 2007

Hi all-

My DH and I are planning to buy a lease is up in July and I wanted to let my landlord know in advance. He has been really good to me and my family. I know in my rental agreement it states, three months in advance, so if my rent is not due to the 15th of every month, should I consider writing him a letter with March's payment?

Any advice would be helpful.


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I think it would be very generous of you to give your landlord ample notice if you know that it's definite you won't be renewing. He will no doubt very much appreciate that extra time to know he's got to secure a new tenant. It sounds like you've had a good relationship. Depending on how he works, he may or may not opt to show the place while you're still in it, prepare it for showing, etc. Hopefully that would not cause any ill will. If you drop him a note, it would be nice if you tell him what you've told us, that he's been good to you. It's always nice to hear those words, and I know when I do, it just makes me want to continue going that extra step for a tenant who's been good to me as well. Good luck with your new home!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 12:58PM
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depending on your landlord, giving him advance notice might help create goodwill that would work in your favor if you need to investigate going month-to-month after July, just in case you have difficulty timing things just right.

He can't penalize you, I don't think, for giving him notice early,and if he's been a good guy, it might make him feel really good about it if you gave him as early a notice as possible.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 2:36PM
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You say you are planning on buying a house. You do not even have a place to go yet. *Do not* give any kind of formal written notice until you are SURE you will be moving.

I had a friend who politely gave four months notice to the landlord when only 30 days was required. Her plans to marry fell through, and when when she politely informed her landlord that "She would be staying after all", she was told "Too bad", her apartment was already rented and she had to find a new place to live. She thought she could recind her written notice to vacate because she gave them four months notice, like as if they were still going to wait until the last 30 days came up and then try to rent it out.

If you give your written notice early, you are still committed to it and it may not be in your best interest in the long run.

Giving written notice to vacate will NEGATE YOUR OPTION TO AUTOMATICALLY GO ON A MONTH TO MONTH BASIS! If it is written in your lease that it automatically goes on a month to month basis when the current lease expires, you would have forfitted this option by giving written notice to vacate at the end of the lease.

A written notice to vacate, is just that - a notice to vacate. It's not a notice to leave your landlord hanging wondering if you are really serious about moving, and have them keep the apartment vacant just in case you change your mind at the last minute.

When July rolls around there may be a new tenant ready to move in on the first, OR maybe there are contractors scheduled to come in to do refurbishing work. You can't just decide that you now want to go on a month to month.

You could have a talk with your landlord and tell them that you are 'planning on buying a house' and assure them that you will give the required three month witten notice, per lease, when the time comes around, but DO NOT give formal written notice until you are sure you have a place to go.

Does your lease go automatically to, month to month, when it ends, or is there a clause saying you must sign a new lease? Letting the lease end, and going on a month to month, would be your best option - if available. This maybe could be negotiated with your landlord AHEAD OF TIME if your lease says you must sign a new, year long lease when the current one ends. Get it in writing though.

If somehow your plans to move fall through, and the apartment is not rented or scheduled for renovations, the landlord may let you stay but do not count on it as an option. The landlord does not legally have to change things on a whim for you, nor is he likely to set himself up for legal repercussions by not honoring the lease with the next new tenant or being sued by contractors who have been scheduled to do work on a certain day.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 6:43PM
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I agree w/ bud's points, except for this one.

Contractors can't sue you because they couldn't start work on a specific day. They can only sue you if you back out of the contract completely. It may stink that they can't start when they wanted, and they can reschedule at their whim, but considering all the contractors who themselves never show up when they say they will, they're not going to sue you landlord because he can't start when he wants.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 12:28PM
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Your landlord sounds like a nice guy. Instead of asking in a letter, I might try to talk to him in person or over the phone. See if he would be willing to let you go month to month if you provide him with the same amount of notice.

It also wouldn't hurt if you knew of a qualified tenant who will be looking for an apt around that time.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 5:49PM
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talley_sue_nyc, yes, they CAN sue.

Anyone, can sue anyone, for anything, actually. Anyone can seek legal redress.

They can initiate legal proceeding for recovery. That is what "suing someone" is. If they petition the court in a suit, it does not automatically mean they will *win* in court. 'Suing someone' and 'winning that suit' do not go hand in hand of course.

If they initiate legal proceeding they could be charged with a *frivilous suit* by the court if the court deems so. This is more damaging for the lawyer though. That's why you hear all the time "They'll never find a lawyer who will take that case." One is not guaranteed legal representation in civil proceedings - only criminal trials.

Just like with leases, it would all depend *on how the contract is written* and they would have to prove damages. For instance, did the contractor have to rent special equipment for the job and now is stuck with the bill? Or maybe the building materials that were to be delivered to the job site now have to be put into rented storage because of the delay by the landlord and transported later.

If the landlord delays the work by changing the start date, maybe the contractor cannot start on the new date the landlord requested, due to other contractual obligations?

He would then have to nullify/cancel the whole contract, and the landlord would be liable for any expenses incurred up to that point, like say, the work that went into drawing up plans for a new kitchen that now won't be installed.

Landlords often have a *completion date* written into remodeling contracts to keep the contractor from delaying the job endlessly and causing loss of rental income for the landlord. It can work both ways though. Contractors may have a start date written in the contract so they are not left hanging with a crew sitting around doing nothing, waiting for the "OK" from the landlord on when to start work.

Often times delays and such can be worked out without having to resort to going to court, but things could get ugly. Yes, a contractor CAN sue the landlord.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 4:01PM
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