Yes, notice is required. Self-help is never a good idea.
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Notice from the landlord is required if he/she is trying to evict you. It is a statutory prerequisite to filing a suit for eviction. If the landlord is simply taking possession after the natural expiration of the lease and you are vacating the property, then no, the landlord does not have to give you any notice. If you are stating that you paid for the last month rent when you first signed the lease agreement, then you should have some proof of payment, such as a cancelled check, receipt, or the lease agreement itself. If you anticipate the landlord not recognizing the fact that you already paid the last month rent, I would remind him/her and provide some proof of that payment.
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Be sure to refer to the terms of your lease for the property. It should state that the first and last month of rent are due at signing. Do you have a record of payment of last month's rent 10 years ago? The lease should also state the terms of when and how the landlord can retake possession of the property. Generally speaking, the landlord is required to give notice prior to retaking possession.
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