Q: Our landlord just told us he's not renewing our lease and we have 2 months to get out. Is that legal right now?
Our lease expires July 1st, and he just sent us an email 3 days ago saying that he's not going to be renewing our lease and he expects us to be out by the date of expiration. We have been living here for 3 years, he does not live on the premises and as far as I know, this is the only property they own. I was under the impression that he could not issue a no-fault eviction right now due to the COVID restrictions, but does letting our lease expire count?
A: IF you have been there for more than a year, then the landlord MUST provide you at least 90 days advanced written notice that they do not intend to renew your lease and then only for a statutorily permitted reason. It sounds as if you have not gotten at least 90 days advanced notice; any "notice" you did get was not in writing (as paper and ink/toner) and lawfully served (has to be handed to you personally; or mailed regular first class mail (NOT Certified mail) with an additional 4 days (including the day of mailing) added to the compliance date to allow for the mailing; or, if your written rental agreement provides for it, posted on your main entrance door and mailed to you first class (not additional 4 days needed)). So it does not sound as if you have remotely received a valid or enforceable termination notice. This is all in normal times. As you note, during the pandemic, even issuing (or attempting to issue) a 90 Day No Cause Termination Notice is forbidden and technically can be a criminal misdemeanor. At the moment, the Governor's Order is scheduled to terminate on June 20 but that date is subject to change as things develop. Then there is the issue of what the courts are going to do about people who got valid notices prior to the pandemic but which purportedly terminated their tenancy during the pandemic - and that is not at all clear yet. So all in all, I would just keep your mouth shut until after July 1st if your desire is to stay as long as possible. If you tell your landlord that his notice is invalid now, all he is likely to do is turn around and "fix" his errors (except he can't "fix" serving it in violation of the Governor's Order) and potentially terminate you sooner than he would if you do not tell him. Good luck.
Katherine Goodman agrees with this answer
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