Ter­mi­na­tion no­tice by ten­ant is bind­ing

Los Angeles Times - - Business - —Martin Eich­ner Eich­ner is di­rec­tor of Hous­ing Coun­sel­ing Pro­grams for Project Sen­tinel, a Sun­ny­vale, Calif., me­di­a­tion ser­vice. To sub­mit a ques­tion, go to www.hous­ing.org.

Ques­tion: I have been liv­ing in my apart­ment for sev­eral years. I made an of­fer on a condo that I thought had been ac­cepted, so I gave 30 days’ writ­ten no­tice to the apart­ment man­ager.

Three weeks later, I learned that I did not qual­ify to buy the condo, which means I don’t want to leave my apart­ment. I told the man­ager that I wanted to with­draw my no­tice, but she said no. Since the apart­ment man­age­ment hasn’t given me her own ter­mi­na­tion no­tice, why can’t I with­draw my no­tice?

An­swer: Un­for­tu­nately, a ten­ant’s writ­ten no­tice of ter­mi­na­tion is just as bind­ing as a ter­mi­na­tion no­tice served by a land­lord.

The ten­ant must va­cate within the pe­riod of time stated in his or her no­tice, or be sub­ject to an evic­tion suit, known as an un­law­ful de­tainer.

Of course, you and your prop­erty man­ager could mu­tu­ally agree to with­draw your ter­mi­na­tion no­tice, but that agree­ment would be sub­ject to ne­go­ti­a­tion with the po­ten­tial of mak­ing changes in the terms of the rental agree­ment.

Since the prop­erty man­ager is not will­ing to can­cel your no­tice, you could of­fer some type of in­duce­ment such as a higher rent, if re­main­ing in the apart­ment is cru­cial to you.

If you reach a mu­tual agree­ment to con­tinue your ten­ancy, make sure it is doc­u­mented in writ­ing and signed and dated by both par­ties be­fore the end of your cur­rent no­tice to move.

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