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What is proper notice when terminating a month to month lease as a tenant and can a text message suffice as notice?

Crofton, MD |

I was on a month to month verbal contract. My landlord notified me that I needed to give 30 days notice of moving out. In July I told my landlord, verbally, I planned on moving out sometime in Sept. I told him again the 1st week in Aug. On Aug 14th I texted him and told him I was moving out Sept 13. On Aug 19th he told me he would prorate Aug rent and take it out of my 1000.00 security deposit. 3 days before I moved out he told me that he didn't find a renter to move in so I had to pay all of Sept's rent. He gave me 150 when I moved out. My rent was 850, 1000-850=150. He did not return the amount with interest nor did he start looking for renters until mid Aug. I thought MD law stated 30 days until end of tenancy or 30 days prior to the end of the lease period for me was Sept 31.

Attorney Answers 1


In Maryland you need 30 days notice or typically one month's rental period. Thus, if you gave notice on August 13th, you're in reality giving notice for the rental period of September. If you intended to give notice and be out by August 31 -- then you should have given written notice prior to August 1st. The statute requires written notice, and arguably a text message is written notice, but the best way to terminate is through a written letter, sent preferably by certified mail.

DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.

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