Residential Property Management/Lease obligation
I currently rent a private condo through a property management company. My first lease expired 6/30/15. Prior to that lease expiring, the PM contacted me asking me whether I would be renewing my lease or putting in my notice. At that time I asked if I could switch to month to month. After checking with the owner, they said that no, the owner wanted a year lease. So I told them that yes I would sign another year's lease. All of this conversation was through their online system. Well, they never had me sign a lease. I have been continuing to pay my monthly rent as scheduled, but I did not sign a new lease. So my question is...what is my obligation as far as the lease is concerned? I am in the process of buying a house and will most likely be ready to move prior to the end of June - when the lease (if I had signed one) would be up. I am wondering whether I can be held to continued monthly payments until the end of June because I said in writing (via the online system) that I would like to sign a new lease, but never did. Or can I give a standard 30 days notice and be within my rights legally and also get my deposit back? I did not intentionally not sign a lease, they just never sent it to me and I didn't even think of it until months later. But my deposit was $3200 and I don't want to lose that. Thank you for your help.
Based on what you described, and assuming there is no automatic renewal clause or option to extend that got exercised by virtue of that correspondence, you are likely on a month to month tenancy at this point and can be canceled with notice (30 or 60 days, depending on the laws of your state). You could contact the PM to verify your month to month status and give them a courtesy heads up that you'll be giving notice when the closing of your new house is imminent. Granted, that could put you at risk for having the landlord turn around and give you notice to vacate, but that's the risk of being on month to month (most tenants like the flexibility, but they often forget that the landlord has that same flexibility). If the argue you're on a lease, ask them politely to provide evidence since you never were presented with an extension, and thus never signed one. Best of luck.