My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California
I am leaving my current rental house to move into a new home we purchased. We gave our landlord our 30 day notice to coincide with the close of escrow, which was initially supposed to be on 10/1/11. Due to a technical issue, the approval of our loan was delayed. The date of our escrow changed to 10/14/11.
I immediately notified my landlord on 9/15/11 via email that there was a change in the date of escrow and it was estimated to close the second week of October. I received a response from her via email on 9/20/11 stating (emphasis hers):
"Let this serve as Notice that your rent for the October 1, 2011, is still DUE ON THE FIRST regardless of move out date. As you have changed your 30 day move out date the entire month of October will be due, however I will refund the days if any from the date you are completely out. I must have in writing the date you would be out of the home.The entire month is due as you once again need to secure a 30 day notice to vacate. This is our agreement."
I then immediately mailed the amended 30 day notice stating our last day in the house would be 10/20/11 (which was 30 days from the date of mailing, even though our escrow was now closing on 10/14/11.) Due to her statement above that she was expecting October's rent from us, we assumed she was fine with the situation. However, on 9/27/11 via email and today via Fed Ex, we received a letter titled "Notice to Vacate" stating that she had found a new tenant and...:
"As per your first/original date to vacate, I went to work on finding a tenant that could move in. I was able to do this with him allowing me the 5 days needed to ship shape the home for him. He has since given his 30 day NOTICE & has asked twice to his landlord for an extension. His landlord/owner is now insisting if he remains he must sign a 1 year lease as the owner/landlord does not want a vacancy come due the end of year when rentals sit vacate. This brings about a large legal issue. Since you are asking for another (second) 30 day notice, this letter is letting you know I can not do this. I did accept your original 30 day NOTICE and expect you to vacate as promise in writing. Failing to vacate on this date can bring about a law suit for you, which may cause you problems with your loan."
I seriously doubt the statement that the new tenant's landlord is trying to force him into signing a one year lease. I have been renting in Southern California for over 10 years and have NEVER been presented with that situation - except by my current landlord. When I first told her I would be purchasing a home, she attempted to force me to sign a year lease. When I wouldn't give in, she raised the rent $150.
1) Does her statement in her email on 9/20 constitute her agreement to our amended 30 Day Notice? Especially since she took the initiative to emphasize "This is our agreement"? It was my understanding that a verbal contract is enforceable in California and her email would meet the demands of being a verbal contract at the very least.
2) Assuming we served our notice properly and she accepted it, it is my understanding that her demand that we pay for the entire month of October is unreasonable. We would only be responsible for paying her through 10/20/11 as stated in our 2nd 30 Day Notice. Is that correct?
3) Does she have the basis for a lawsuit against us if we do not vacate the home on 10/1/11?
She has ignored requests for repairs and misquoted me on several occasions. Luckily, I have her emails to confirm all of her behavior. Thank you SO MUCH for your help! She has not been a fun landlord to deal with!!!