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How to end a tenancy if the rental agreement has no specific expiration date?

Los Angeles, CA |

The landlord and tenant signed a rental agreement in June 25, 2013. Tenant moved in on July 1, 2013. In May 2014 the landlord is thinking of not extending the tenants lease but when he checked the lease it has no expiration date. All the while the landlord assumes that the lease will end on June 30, 2014 but apparently the lease is silent on it. Should the landlord notify the tenant that her lease will expire on June 30, 2014 or he needs to issue a 30-day notice to vacate to the tenant? And when?

Attorney Answers 2


If a lease fails to specify the terms of the tenancy, then the tenancy will likely be a periodic tenancy. (CCP § 1944.) A periodic tenancy continues from one period to the next automatically unless either the landlord or tenant terminates it, at the end of the period, through proper notice. In other words, if the tenant pays rent on a monthly basis, then the tenant has a month-to-month tenancy.

Under a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord can terminate the tenancy for any reason upon thirty days written notice. (Civ. Code § 1161(1); Civ Code § 1946.) However, there may be other requirements for rent-controlled areas. Further, if the tenant has been residing in the unit for at least one year, the landlord must serve a sixty day notice.

Obviously, this is just an introduction to the unlawful detainer process and there is a great deal more involved in any unlawful detainer.

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information in this answer is merely meant for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.

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Assuming the rental is located in the City of Los Angeles: If a single family home, you will have to give a 60-Day Notice to Vacate--as the tenancy will exceed one year on June 25.

But, if the rental is a multi-unit build before October 1979, then the Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance only allows evictions "for cause" and you are stuck with the tenant is he pays the rent and does not materially violate the lease terms.

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