The short answer is yes, they can. If your original lease expired in April, but you continued to pay rent for no specific term and without signing a new lease, then you entered a month-to-month tenancy where rent is due and payable for each month, not in increments of a month. Unless, you had a written agreement stating otherwise, your landlord was entitled to the full months' rent for July, just as you were entitled to stay in the property for the full month of July.
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Dear "Can my previous landlord":
Yes, the landlord can keep the full months' rent.
Attorney Fucillo is correct. if you pay on the first of each month, then
you are on a month-to-month tenancy. The landlord in a month-to-month
tenancy is entitled to at least fifteen days' notice in writing if the tenant wants
to end the tenancy.
You gave notice that you were staying until July 31st, so the landlord can
charge rent for that time.
There are some landlords who require less notice than the law allows,
but even they are allowed to charge if you give less notice than what they ask for.
For example, some landlords rent month-to-month, but only require two weeks'
notice and allow that to be straight calendar time, not at the end of a month.
The law, however, says that the time must end at the end of the period, whether that is a
quarter, month, week, etc.
Good luck! Hire a local lawyer for their take on it if you are unsure.