If I have no lease, do I have to give my landlord 30 days notice before I move out?

UPDATED: Nov 5, 2011

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If I have no lease, do I have to give my landlord 30 days notice before I move out?

I currently rent a bedroom off of my fiance’s brother I pay $600 Months for a bedroom plus $200 for utilities. We have no legal lease and nothing in writing. I’m sick of the way they treat me and they are now asking me for more money which I can’t afford. So I’ve decided to just move out. Do I have to legally give them 30 days notice? They have not followed through with any of the things they verbally said they would. If they change the locks before I can move all my stuff, can I call the police?

Asked on November 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

1) There is a lease--simply not a written one. However, there is still an oral or verbal lease, comprising the terms of your rental (e.g. what you rent, for how much, the fact you pay utilities, etc.).

2) When there is an oral lease, the tenancy is month-to-month. That means that the landlord must provide 30 days notice to terminate the tenancy or change its terms (e.g. increase rent). The tenant also must provide 30 days notice to terminate tenancy, or at least provide notice and pay for the 30 days, even if he or she moves out before then.

3) If they change the locks and exclude you from your belongings, you can and should try calling the police. However, the police sometimes refuse to get involved, in which case you would have to sue for damages (compensation) and/or access to your belongings.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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