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  1. #1

    Default How Much Notice Do You Have To Give When You Move Out

    I have rented the same one bedroom apartment for the past 2 years for $905 and $920. The tenant before me left a ton of furniture, the last of which was removed the day I moved in. Painting was quickly done but the hardwood floors were never stripped and redone. I was promised a new bathroom quickly after move in (more about that later). The rent was prorated to September 10 (the next year's lease was Sept 1) and I moved in. That super was fired because he failed to make repairs or answer calls.
    (For example, I came home at 3am and my smoke detector was going off. When I finally got the super to call me back at 4am, he told me to throw it in the snow! I couldn't get it out or to stop beeping and DUH, that's totally unsafe and illegal so he finally came and took it out. Needless to say it took two months to get a new one, right before I complained to the ownership and he got fired. When the weather changed, part of my bedroom floor completely warped into a bump where the wood separated because the previous tenant either didn't notify the super that the air conditioner leaked or he didn't fix it, but finally the new super got it fixed and had my bathroom redone.)
    The second super came in during my second lease and was great for a while and even had new windows put in. But when it came time for me to decide whether or not to renew, I had been laid off at work and wasn't sure if I'd be able to find a new teaching job cause of the tight market in NJ. So I called the super ahead of time to find out what the rent increase would be and to find when I'd have to let him know if I was renewing so I could try to plan accordingly but a few calls went unanswered. Needless to say I had to make a decision before finding a job and started looking at other places because I was fed up with the apartment complex and could save by living with roommates. Finding a new place took a while and I got a job before doing so.
    I had to make sure that I could sign a new lease before deciding to officially not renew, but my calls to the super weren't returned and I finally got a paper requesting my response to new renewal at rent of $935 a month. I sent it in to decline (it had to be the middle of June at the latest, maybe 40 days notice?) only to receive a paper saying that I was going to be charged for September rent (after the lease was up) at the NEW rate of $935 because I hadn't given 45 days notice in writing (I tried to talk to the super but my phone messages weren't answered) but that if they were able to rent the place before September was up, I'd be prorated some of the money. I know that they'll take their sweet time redoing the floors and painting just so they can get the full month...
    So here are my questions. One - what is the normal notice required by law in NJ, two - can they really charge me the new rent? Three - and I think it's a yes - can I just have it taken out of the security deposit? (I called managment to ask about the extra month's rent and to make sure I wouldn't get the crappy floors charged against me through security but she was nasty about it and said they keep records of who they paid to do repairs and such and would look into confirming the floors weren't done.) Four - What kind of case would I have in court given their poor track record at answering tenant's calls?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Re: How Much Notice Do You Have To Give When You Move Out

    Did you check your lease to see what it says about notice?

    Here's the general rule for notice, as described by LSNJ Law:
    Quote Quoting Notice to End a Lease
    To end a lease, either the tenant or the landlord must give the other a written notice before the end of the lease, stating that the lease will not be renewed. If this written notice is not given or is not given in the required time, then the lease will renew itself automatically, at least on a month-to-month basis, generally with the same terms and conditions. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-10.

    Ending a yearly lease. To end a yearly lease, unless the lease says otherwise, you must give the landlord a written notice at least one full month before the end of the lease. The notice must tell the landlord that you are moving out when the lease ends. Also, unless the lease says otherwise, the landlord must give you at least one full month’s notice before the end of the lease to terminate a yearly lease so that the landlord can raise the rent or change other terms of the lease. Remember, you cannot be evicted just because the landlord ends your lease.

    For example, if your yearly lease ends on June 30, you have to give the landlord a written notice before June 1 that you plan to terminate the lease on June 30. Failure to give the proper notice may result in the automatic creation of a month-to-month tenancy. In that case, you may be responsible for at least an additional month’s rent. In this example, your failure to give notice may allow the landlord to charge you for July’s rent and to subtract it from your security deposit.

    If your lease or a notice from your landlord says that you must either sign a new lease by a certain date or else move out by the date your present lease expires, your failure to renew your lease will put the landlord on notice that you intend to move out at the end of the lease period. If you object to changes in the lease, let the landlord know. Lease changes must be reasonable. See Chapter 9, The Causes for Eviction. If you then choose not to move out, you will become a month-to-month tenant. Cite: Kroll Realty v. Fuentes, 163 N.J. Super. 23 (App. Div. 1978) and Lowenstein v. Murray, 229 N.J. Super. 616 (Law Div. 1988). You will, however, be subject to eviction for refusing to sign a new lease.

    Ending a month-to-month lease. To end a month-to-month lease, or any rental agreement that does not have a specific lease term, you must give a written one-month notice before the month starts. You can then move out at the end of the month. Cite: N.J.S.A. 2A:18-56.

    For example, say that you have a month-to-month lease, your rent is due the first of every month, and you want to move on June 30. You have to give the landlord a written notice before June 1 saying that you will be moving out as of June 30, and you will end your lease at that time.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How Much Notice Do You Have To Give When You Move Out

    I checked the (first) lease because I can't find the second. I might only have gotten a renewal letter and not a new lease (if so, is that legal?) It says "The Landlord may offer a renewal of the tenancy by presenting a new lease to the tenant approximately 60 days before this lease expires. Tenant must then write to the Landlord within 15 days of receipt and tell the Landlord if he is going to renew his Lease on the apartment, or if he is going to vacate the apartment." After a bit more stuff reiterating that, it says, "If the Tenant does not notify Landlord of his intent to vacate within the required time or does not return the signed lease renewal with the required money, than Tenant shall be liable for damages sustained by Landlord, including the inability of Landlord to rent the premises if Tenant decides to vacate." and under where it talks about people breaking the lease before it's up, it says, "the Landlord will attempt to rent the apartment to commence immediately following the termination date. However, tenant understands that if the apartment is not rented so that a new tenant can occupy it immediately after the termination date, then the tenant is responsible for the lost rental to the landlord during the vacancy."

    Because I brought it up with the management yesterday and the super (when I first met him, he said he would never have rented the apartment with the floors in the condition they were in) which I will also reiterate in the letter I'm sending them), they know the floors need to be redone and they obviously have to repaint as per the lease, so it can't be rented immediately (due in no part to me) and they're still going to charge me the extra month when (for at least part) they wouldn't be able to anyway. There are other empty apartments they'll try to rent first I'm sure.

    When I got the renewal forms, I had to sign both and send them back but I haven't received my copy back so I can't tell for sure when I sent it to them but I think it was July 26 at the latest (who knows when they received it) so that would be 36 days. The lease says nothing about the "damages" being one month's rent or that they could use the increased amount it would be on a new lease... I guess I'm gonna have to suck it up that I didn't get the renewal to them on time, but the penalty is not specified in the lease (might be on the non-renewal form?) I can't find a copy of the second year's lease and I'm wondering where it could be. I'm going to ask for a copy of it...

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