Can my daughter move out of her apartment without obligation if a lease was never presented by the landlord?

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Can my daughter move out of her apartment without obligation if a lease was never presented by the landlord?

My college-age daughter responded to an ad placed by the parents of another young woman looking for a roommate in a 2 bedroom apartment. The ad asked for a “non-partying” person. In the meantime this girl is drinking every day from 5:00 pm on and has a drug dealer coming over to sell her pot. We never received a lease from the landlord and we were told they would slip it under the door sometime in August. I’m wondering what our obligations toward the family or the landlord would be if my daughter moved out within the next month or two. We were expecting the lease to be through 07/11.

Asked on September 28, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Without a written lease, your daughter is a month-to-month tenant. As the term implies, a month-to-month tenancy is created for one month at a time. As a consequence, either party can terminate the tenancy with one month's notice. Your daughter's obligation therefore would be to provide the month's notice, since there is no written lease. She also has the usual obligations to not damage or destroy the landlord's property, since if she does, she could be liable for the repair or replacement cost. If you daughter is looking to move out in a month or two, she should probably be giving her notice about now. She should do so in writing, in some way she can prove delivery, in order to avoid having her provision of notice later challenged. Good luck.


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