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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default What Can I Do As a Roommate to Break Out of a Month-To-Month Lease Agreement

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California.

    Hello. I currently reside within a two-bedroom apartment that is leased to a friend of mine. I moved into the other room back in August under a verbal agreement of a paying month-to-month amount of $600. I also gave him a security deposit of $500. My stay there has been roughly 5% of the month, per month, as I mostly have been staying with my parents for various reasons.

    My financial situation has caused me to have to leave. I gave my 30 days notice on the first, however my friend says I am also on the lease so I must stay until it ends. I never signed anything and my verbal agreement was month-to-month (all these statements unfortunately cannot be supported by any documentation).

    Further more, we recently had new management come and starting this month the rent must be paid on the 1st, where before we paid on the 6th. I am incapable of paying on the 1st and offered to pay on the sixth--or, have him take my deposit.

    I want some legal advice on what I should do. I've gone on a number of site and, preferably, I'd like for him to keep my deposit, give him $100, and be on my merry way.

    While likely irrelevant, the state of the room I occupied had damage; none of which was documented during my stay. We also recently had an outbreak of black mold, which was taken care of but I am unsure if it caused any structural damage.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: What Can I Do As a Roommate to Break Out of a Month-To-Month Lease Agreement

    If you're not on the lease, you're not on the lease. Having somebody say "you're on the lease" doesn't put your signature on that document. If your roommate sues you claiming you owe rent because you agreed to stay for the full lease term and you deny that, he has the burden of proof that yours was not a month-to-month agreement.

    Your damage deposit isn't rent. Presumably at least part of it will go to the damage to your room.

    If your roommate is your landlord and your agreement with him was always to pay by the 6th, just as his landlord had to do with him, any modification of that allowance / "grace period" must be made with proper notice.

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