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Old 10-05-2008, 09:54 PM
 
Location: outer boroughs, NYC
904 posts, read 2,872,989 times
Reputation: 453

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Hi. I find myself in a bit of a bind - partially my own fault, no doubt - and am unsure of how to proceed.

I need to vacate my apartment as soon as possible, and have been intending to do so this upcoming week. I never signed a lease, or anything else.

Here is the crux of the situation - my landlord is elderly and somewhat difficult to deal with. She means well, but is easily flustered and confused and speaks broken English. When I moved in, in January, she did not make me sign a lease.

A few months later, she hired a bookkeeper, who came to me and asked me to sign a lease. At this point, I had lost my job and thought it possible that I may have to move out and back to my hometown at some point. I explained this to the bookkeeper, who said I could go forward without signing a lease, given the uncertainty of my situation.

A few months after that, I found myself in a position where I needed to go. Foolishly - and this is my fault - I assumed that two weeks' notice would suffice. I intended to call the bookeeper with two weeks' notice and explain my intentions - however, I had lost his phone number.

Here's where we come up to today - I went to my landlord and asked for his phone number, at which point she informed she had hired someone else to handle the books. She asked why I needed it, and I told her I intended to move out soon. She asked me to write a letter stating my intentions, and when I moved in, signed a lease (she was under the impression I had signed a lease, even though I had never done so), and told me to give to her. She said after doing that, she would give me the new bookkeeper's contact information. I preferred to communicate with the bookkeeper because, as I said, the landlord is difficult to deal with.

Anyway, I wrote up the letter, and went back the next day to give it to her. She did not answer the door (she lives in the building). I called and went to her apartment several times, and have not been able to get in touch with her. Now I'm coming down to the wire here, and I'm not sure what to do.

My question is this - if I mail her the letter and move out this week, will I be liable for any legal repercussions? Considering the situation, I don't expect my security deposit back, and I don't really care - I just want out. I have paid my rent in full and on time, and my apartment is in the same - if not better - condition as it was when I moved in. I know this is kind of a jerk move, but at this point I just want out of here as quicky as possible.

So - consideirng that I never signed anything, can my landlord do anything to me aside from withholding the security deposit? If so, what? Also, would the move have any repercussions for my credit, once again, considering that I never signed anything?

Last edited by neonwattagelimit; 10-05-2008 at 10:17 PM..
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,266 posts, read 19,164,918 times
Reputation: 4752
no lease-no problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neonwattagelimit View Post
Hi. I find myself in a bit of a bind - partially my own fault, no doubt - and am unsure of how to proceed.

I need to vacate my apartment as soon as possible, and have been intending to do so this upcoming week. I never signed a lease, or anything else.

Here is the crux of the situation - my landlord is elderly and somewhat difficult to deal with. She means well, but is easily flustered and confused and speaks broken English. When I moved in, in January, she did not make me sign a lease.

A few months later, she hired a bookkeeper, who came to me and asked me to sign a lease. At this point, I had lost my job and thought it possible that I may have to move out and back to my hometown at some point. I explained this to the bookkeeper, who said I could go forward without signing a lease, given the uncertainty of my situation.

A few months after that, I found myself in a position where I needed to go. Foolishly - and this is my fault - I assumed that two weeks' notice would suffice. I intended to call the bookeeper with two weeks' notice and explain my intentions - however, I had lost his phone number.

Here's where we come up to today - I went to my landlord and asked for his phone number, at which point she informed she had hired someone else to handle the books. She asked why I needed it, and I told her I intended to move out soon. She asked me to send a letter stating my intentions, and when I moved in, signed a lease (she was under the impression I had signed a lease, even though I had never done so), and told me to give to her. She said after doing that, she would give me the new bookkeeper's contact information. I preferred to communicate with the bookkeeper because, as I said, the landlord is difficult to deal with.

Anyway, I wrote up the letter, and went back the next day to give it to her. She did not answer the door (she lives in the building). I called and went to her apartment several times, and have not been able to get in touch with her. Now I'm coming down to the wire here, and I'm not sure what to do.

My question is this - if I mail her the letter and move out this week, will I be liable for any legal repercussions? Considering the situation, I don't expect my security deposit back, and I don't really care - I just want out. I have paid my rent in full and on time, and my apartment is in the same - if not better - condition as it was when I moved in. I know this is kind of a jerk move, but at this point I just want out of here as quicky as possible.

So - consideirng that I never signed anything, can my landlord do anything to me aside from withholding the security deposit? If so, what? Also, would the move have any repercussions for my credit, once again, considering that I never signed anything?
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:47 AM
 
28,115 posts, read 63,666,290 times
Reputation: 23268
I don't know about Chicago... Here in CA Oral rental agreements are valid and recognized for periods less than one year.

Notice is determined by the interval rent is paid... i.e., if you pay rent each week, then one weeks notice is required, if you pay monthly, than 30 days notice is required as a rule of thumb.

Since you are moving anyway and not expecting your deposit return... my guess is that will be the end of it.

The purpose of the letter is to define a date certain of your intended departure date to assist in advertising the unit and scheduling the any turn-over work.

CA also requires to the Landlord to provide without charge one copy of written rental agreements per year, upon request.

You can request additional copies during the year but the owner has the right to charge a fee to cover the cost of providing same.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Maryland
1,667 posts, read 9,381,949 times
Reputation: 1654
I'd recommend getting a licensed home inspector to verify that there is no damage caused by you, or your landlord could come after you for repairs. You're saying that she will give you the bookkeeper's contact info after you do certain things first? What's the deal with that? I'd move my stuff, don't sign anything at this point. Have the inspector check the place out, and have a real estate attorney check the next lease you sign. Most leases have illegal stipulations and excessive fines in them. You now have experience with a landlord who has no business sense. Better luck next time.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 23,347,049 times
Reputation: 31918
If you cannot afford a licensed home inspector, take pictures with a date/time stamp or use a video camera. You want to make sure that she won't say that you destroyed the apartment. Even if you hire an inspector, I would take pics. Other than that, with no signed lease, you probably can just move out. Don't give your landlord your forwarding address.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:39 AM
 
5,481 posts, read 8,575,276 times
Reputation: 8284
As far as I know, if there's no signed lease then you're basically renting on a month to month basis. You're not binded by any contract.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:40 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
3,503 posts, read 19,886,388 times
Reputation: 2771
After 4 years, the issue is mute, I'm sure.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
10,048 posts, read 18,066,509 times
Reputation: 35846
And moot too!
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:46 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,568 posts, read 18,108,085 times
Reputation: 16702
but it wasn't mute since it was regurgitated.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:32 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,665 posts, read 69,696,895 times
Reputation: 26727
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Annie View Post
but it wasn't mute since it was regurgitated.
I had to read that while downing my morning coffee. The visual was NOT appetizing!
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