Can an old landlord go after me for rent after a 30 day notice has been submitted?

I had a lease with a particular (shady) Los Angeles Management Co. from October 23, 2005 to October 23, 2006. Due to irreconcilable differences with my former (flaky and overall manipulative) roommate, I moved out on November 25, 2006. I sent them the notice to vacate on October 8, and rent was paid in full. When I later called to confirm its receipt, I was given the complete runaround. (I have copies of the letter and lease) After discussing the issue with an attorney, I was informed that once I move out I was no longer liable for rent on the apartment. I then proceeding with moving out. About three months later I got a call from the manager informing me that the rent was consistently being turned in late. Essentially, they are trying to go after me for rent on an apartment I no longer live in. I informed them that legally that it was not my responsibility and that they needed to contact the old roommate. They are continuing to contact me regarding this. What should I do?

Posted in Landlord Tenant Law.

5 Comments

  1. Roommate squables are not the problem of the landlord. It doesn’t matter if he is old, young or “shady”…all he has to have is a contract.

    You signed the lease, despite what you may think you are still legally responsible.

    Leases are a two-way obligation…if he just gave you a 30-day notice mid-lease to vacate, you would be screaming to the top of your lungs that you had a 12 month obligation and he couldn’t throw you out.

    You seem to think that it doesn’t work in the reverse direction…and it does. You committed to staying in that apartment and paying him a consistent rental fee for 12 months…and because you made a poor choice in a roomate is NOT his problem.

    Your roommate may not have even qualified to rent the apartment on his/her own. You do not have the sole right to terminate a lease…b/c the lease, again, is a two-way contract…if the landlord doesn’t want to allow you to break it, he doesn’t have to!

    Welcome to the world of legal contracts….if he says he’ll sue you, he will, and he’ll win.

  2. Did you send the letter certified mail? That would’ve given you a receipt of the letter being delivered.
    According to your question, you moved out a month after the lease ended (11/06), correct? In California, after the term of lease expires, it automatically goes to a month-to-month situation unless a new lease is signed. You have to give 30 days notice to move out, which you say you did.

    I would think that since you gave proper notification of your intent (ie: more than 30 days notice), the lease had expired so you were under no obligation there…you should be clear. Did your former roommate move out? That might be an issue, but if your name is no longer on a lease, then I would imagine you are in the clear. Its possible that the Management Co. is unable to recover money from your old roommate whom may or may not be living there and is going after you in hopes of getting some money.

  3. If you had a lease from Oct 05 to Oct 06, but didnt move out till Nov of 06, yes you would be responsible for the rent. You automatically renewed your lease by not moving at the end of the lease. So your new lease would be up in Oct of 07. Unfortunately. But however, If you’ve moved out and they have re-rented the property, they cannot ask for rent from you also. Then they would be collecting double the rent, which is fraud. But if it is your old roomate still living there, and you’re still on the lease, then you are still responsible for the rent until the lease is up. I’m really sorry. It doenst matter if you sent in a notice that you were moving, if you have a lease, you are obligated to follow the lease. If they all agreed to you moving out, then its another story, but in this case, it sounds like, no one removed you from the lease, and you are still obligated to pay no matter how much you disagree with it. Judge Judy would tell you the same thing. If you have a lease, you have to follow it, Whether or not you are living there.

  4. Time has run out. More than likely it has been reported to the credit bureau if you had the lease in your name. Otherwise, forget it and chalk it up to experience.

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