Question by Kelly: Is my rental agreement with my roommate still valid ? I need advice?
In September 2010, I started renting a room from my roommate and he had me sign a rental agreement that I would pay $ 600.00 for rent a month. Well In December 2010, there was a situation in which a girl he was dating for 3 months came into my room when i was not there and stole a few things including my mini laptop. He apologized and i ended buying things back through a settlement we worked out. Although i bought my stuff back, I still do not trust the living situation with my roommate after that issue. Before I even signed the rental agreement, we both agreed to having no drama in our home and only 3 months later I go through this. My roommate was scared I was going to move out so he told me to keep in mind that i signed the agreement which stated I would give a 30 days notice before moving out. So he told me February he would cut a break with the rent and I can only pay $ 500.00 +utilities monthly. I still do no trust this living situation and want to move out . Also he has not bothered to even re-write the rental agreement stating to pay $ 500.00 + utilites instead of the $ 600.00. Also he seems to be very secretive about the people he brings over. Is this agreement valid although he has not made the changes to do it and what should I do? All responses will be appreciated.

Best answer:

Answer by Simpson G
You are on a month to month tenancy, which means that all you need to give is 30 days to move out legally. If you pay rent on the first, you need to give your notice on the last day of the month before your last day (unless you are in CA) ie: To move by Apr 30, you must give notice by Mar 31. Pay him the $ 500 + utlities for April, ask if you can change the lock to your room (he will likely still be required to have a key, but if he gives that key to anyone, you can sue), and be out on or before Apr 30. Take anything valuable out of the room NOW and store it some place safe.

You should have had renter’s insurance and filed a police report when the gf stole your things. Then you could take her to court and get the money for the items she took or you’d have insurance money to cover the stolen items.

Date

Dear Harold Saxon,

This letter serves as my 30 days notice of intent to vacate 212 Downing St, Vacaville, CA. My move out day will be on or before April 30, 2011. Included is $ 500 for my rent for April, as per our verbal agreement of Mar 17, 2011.

Thank you,

Harriet Jones

You will need to either prepay for the utilities or have him mail you a bill or call/e-mail you with the amount you owe for April. Once you have a new address, you need to provide that to him as well if you want any of your security deposit back.

A verbal month to month agreement stands in most states, so you should be good for the $ 500 + utilities should it go to a court of law. Where you will have problems is if you agreed to stay for a certain period of time in exchange for the rent reduction. If you did agree to stay for a certain length of time, you are technically in a lease. The legality of verbal leases varies by state, so you would need to look into that on your own. If a verbal lease is not binding where you live, then the original written agreement stands and you will owe him $ 600 in rent and can give him the 30 days notice. If a verbal lease is legal, then you must stay for the time you agreed unless you can get an “out” via him violating the lease. Theft of your property or illegal activity in the home may be grounds to void a lease, but you would need to check with an attorney or legal aid to find out if this holds true in your state.

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