Can an e-mail with date and time stamp which was replied to constitute “written notice”?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2011

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Can an e-mail with date and time stamp which was replied to constitute “written notice”?

We send an email, more than 20 days before vacating, to our current building management titled “reference letter” explaining that because we are moving out at the end of our lease our new landlord would like a reference letter. The reply said we have to come down to their office for written notice and the new landlord must fax something to them. We ended up not needing the reference letter and we had no idea that by written notice he meant to vacate as in this email will not suffice as notice. Are we liable for next month’s rent?

Asked on August 31, 2011 Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You will need to review the law in Washington State as to what written document constitutes written notice to the landlord to terminate your lease. From what you have written, the body of the e mail in California would constitute written notice that you would be terminating your lease and be effective as a notice to the landlord that your lease with him or her was coming to an end.

The landlord even sent a reply to this e mail. Obviously the landlord or his/her agent was on notice long ago that the lease you had was nearing its end on the stated date listed in your e mail.

From what you have written, it does not appear that you would be obligated for any rent past the deadline set in your e mail for vacating the unit at the lease's term.

Good luck.

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