In reading between the lines in your question, I am assuming that you and your roommate had a written lease with the landlord who died and that you are currently on a month to month lease. While you had a written lease, your verbal agreement with the deceased landlord was to pay the rent by the 5th of the month. The person administering the estate of your deceased landlord wants to collect late charges under the written lease - a term that was previously waived by the deceased landlord.
Generally speaking, an oral lease is as enforceable as a written lease with the exception that a written lease is conclusive evidence of the agreement between the parties. With an oral lease - or in your case, oral modifications to a written lease - you will need to prove the terms of the oral agreement. If those oral terms are in contrast to the written terms of the lease, you may have some difficulty in proving those terms. There may also be a clause in the written lease that prohibits oral modifications to that lease, which would probably preclude evidence of your oral agreement with the deceased landlord to the contrary. If you have a letter or e-mail from the deceased landlord that waives late fees or somehow memorializes the late fee agreement, that could be deemed a written modification of the written lease.
With respect to your inquiry on whether one tenant moves out and the other wants to stay, there is no clear cut answer to that type of scenario. Most likely, the landlord would terminate the month to month agreement with the 2 tenants and enter into a new lease with the single tenant who wants to stay.
Written lease likely transfers, but verbal agreement died with the person, unless you have other evidence.
Regarding the notice, it depends what is specified on the lease. I would need more details to answer. The security deposit also depends, since it seems that a new arrangement will be necessary.
DISCLAIMERâ€”This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in Florida and Arizona.
What does the initial written lease say about it?
Who paid the security deposit? Tenant # 1, Tenant # 2, or did they split the payment of the Security Deposit?
Do you have proof such as a receipt or canceled check to prove you paid your portion of the SD?