Once we entered escrow, I was hopeful that we’d be able to close the third week of the month so I’d have a weekend to paint and then be able to move out at the end of the month. That’s not working out as planned, but fortunately, I won’t have to pay rent and a mortgage at the same time, because I’ve learned the ins and outs of giving 30 days notice to move.
When You Can Give Notice to Move
If you’re on a fixed-period lease, then you’re responsible for the rent until the lease expires. Moving at the end of the lease is as simple as notifying your landlord 30 days before the lease expires that you’ll be leaving.
It’s certainly easiest to move out at the end of the month on a month-to-month lease. Then you don’t have to worry about prorating any days in the next month. However, that’s not always possible. If you need to move partway through a month, check your local rent laws to determine your rights. I learned that California law allows renters on month-to-month leases to move anytime during the month. You’re only responsible for the days you occupy the home, or 30 days from the date you give notice, whichever is longer. For example, if you give notice on the 10th, you’re responsible for the rent until the 10th of the following month, even if you move out the 5th.
How to Give Written Notice
Giving written notice is easy. It should be typed and read something like this:
June 15, 2009
1111 May Lane
Los Angeles, CA 90066
I, Aryn Money, hereby give notice that I intent to terminate my tenancy of 1111 June Road #3, Los Angeles, CA 90067 as of July 15, 2009.
My forwarding address is:
1111 July Road #6, Los Angeles, CA 90068.
My phone number is: (310) 555-1234
Sign in the space. I would provide a cell phone number if you don’t yet know what your new phone number will be. If you have a roommate who will also be moving, they must sign the notice, too. If they’re not moving with you, have them provide a separate notice with their own forwarding address.
If you want to give a reason why you’re moving, you can, but it’s not required. You must give a forwarding address if you want your security deposit returned to you in a timely manner.
How to Deliver the Notice
If you have a property manager, simply hand it to him or her. If you have an off-site landlord, mail it to the address on your lease or the place you mail your rent. If your landlord picks up the rent, leave it in your payment envelope.
Pro-rating the Rent
If you’re moving mid-month and your state permits pro-rating rent, then call your landlord to ask how much you should pay for the partial month. It should be your monthly rent divided by the number of days in the month, multiplied by the number of days you intend to remain. If you pay $900 a month and move on the 10th, you should pay $300. If you paid first, last, and a security deposit, you shouldn’t have to pay anything and should receive a refund for the unused days.
Once you give notice, keep your landlord appraised of any changes. If you need to stay a little longer, you’ll need to pay a little more. If you need to leave earlier, you’re still responsible for the full 30 days.