My question involves landlord-tenant law in Santa Cruz, California.

3 tenants signed a single 1 year lease. 30 days before the termination of the lease, the tenants gave written notice that they were renewing the lease for another year, but that one tenant would be moving out and a new one would replace him. Landlord sent written notice specifying the monthly rate (same) and duration and dates of the new term (1 year), agreeing to the renewal of the lease on the same terms as the original lease. The landlord also specified the new tenant moving in would need to sign a lease in a timely manner (within the first few days of occupancy).

No new documentation was signed before the end of the lease term, and the new term began. The monthly rent for the first month was paid.

Three days into the new term, the tenants call the landlord by phone and request the landlord lower the monthly rent by $300. The landlord and tenants compromise and decide upon lowering of the monthly rent by $75 for the months following the first month of the new term (new monthly price is for 11 months).

One day later, the landlord arrives at the property to have the new tenant sign the lease and for purpose of officiation, also have the other tenants sign a completely new lease; however the tenants are all out of town and no new documentation is signed. 15 days into the first month of the new term, the tenants report their new roommate fell through and because they are unable to find another, are providing 30 days notice that they will be moving out.

Did the two tenants who remain in the property legally renew the lease and are they subject to the same liability of the rent for the new term?

If not, what is the tenants' liability?

Thanks so much!