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Old 11-04-2011, 12:03 PM
1 posts, read 6,803 times
Reputation: 10


So long story short, I've had to switch jobs, moved out of state, but still have a property in WI.
The landlord was very pleasant until I mentioned moving. He then proceeded to dodge phone calls, won't text me back, and won't return emails.
I finally today texted him and gave him 30 days notice of my vacating the premises.

I don't have the lease in front of me, but I do recall that he put in the lease, 'if after a year you want to do month to month, that's fine'
But ultimately I'm not sure if that would hold up in court because he originally just asked if I wanted to sign another year, and I didn't give it a second thought.
BUT, after reading this [URL]https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/704/29[/URL]
notice 704.03.4
Does that mean if there is no description on how to 'break' the lease early, that the lease is invalidated?
Right now he's just saying 'oh well, it doesn't matter if you're living on the property or not, you have to pay rent'.

Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated, I really can't afford this, but now he seems to not be such a nice person.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:12 PM
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,669 posts, read 67,019,519 times
Reputation: 26681
Are you still under a lease agreement? If so the terms and conditions of the lease hold firm until its expiration. In other words you're responsible for paying the rent for the duration of its term. Some but not all leases contain an early quit clause where, upon payment of an agreed-upon sum, you can be released from the lease before its term is up.

When a term lease expires and neither the LL or tenant agree to an extension or a renewal and as long as there has been no notice to quit, the tenancy becomes a month to month agreement under the same terms of the original lease. At that point you and the LL are bound by whatever notice of quit is required under state landlord tenant laws which, on a month to month agreement, is usually 30 days but in some states is 60 days. You can find that out easily by googling, "(your state) landlord tenant laws".

If your lease still has several months to go you are therefore liable under the contractual agreement you signed. However, your LL is also required to mitigate his losses. If you refuse to pay and he takes you to court, he'll most likely be required to show that he made every attempt to re-rent the space. He can't "double dip" on rent payments.

Your best bet is first to read your lease. Obviously that's something you should have done before you signed it but, since the horse has already left the barn, best you read it now and save yourself any further aggravation based on lack of knowledge. Secondly, review your state landlord tenant laws for confirmation on those aspects which apply to your situation. Finally, once you've educated yourself, sit down with your LL and try and work out a compromise which will leave you both happy. Save any feistiness and attitude until you know your legal footing.

Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:03 PM
Location: The Triad (NC)
33,083 posts, read 77,621,120 times
Reputation: 41369
Originally Posted by Kungpaoshizi View Post
'if after a year you want to do month to month, that's fine'
whether he put that in or not... reverting to "month to month" is likely the default.
Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated...
He's worried about having an empty.
The upcoming holidays and the upcoming winter are about the worst times to find a tenant.
I suspect he is in denial and may have other "issues".

Bottom line is that his issues aren't your issues.
Give him the required notice (probably 30 days)... and live your life.
(oh, and VERIFY the legal status)

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Old 11-04-2011, 03:17 PM
4,918 posts, read 22,030,883 times
Reputation: 6290
To ansewr thre questions,
What is written in the lease will be the deciding factor absent any written agreement that altered it.

Where in the lease term also is a factor. If you have fullfilled the terms of the lease and are now on a month to month, your obligations are under the law for month to month.

As for the section yof the law you quoted, the interpretation is that the LL can not include in the lease any changes that violate the law and that within the law, you both can agree to changes so long as it doen;t violate the law. So if the law says tenant must give 30 days notice to vacate, you both can agree in the lease to reduce that to 20 days, but the LL can;t put in the lease you must give 30 days but they can give 10 days to vacate.

There is nothing i saw that mandates specific wording about how to break a lease except it can;t contain anything that violates the law.
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