Q: Early lease termination requirements in CA
My tenant signed an year lease for the period 07/01/2023-06/30/2024 but gave me a lease termination notice on 07/23/2023 without moving in . They want to terminate the lease on 07/31/2023.
They are expecting their security deposit back.
Is there a law in California that mandates a minimum period for the notice, like 30 days? If such a clause exists, can you please share the links that supports it?
A: Assuming they are not terminating for valid cause, and your lease does not cover the topic, there is no provision for canceling a lease. Even in a month to month tenancy, 30 days notice is required for termination. They could be on the hook, theoretically, for the entire term of the lease. However, a landlord has a duty to "mitigate the damages" by attempting to re-rent the premises expeditiously. You should still follow the rules regarding deposits, such a sending a timely statement.
There is a law in California that mandates a minimum notice period for early lease termination. According to California Civil Code Section 1946, a tenant must provide a written notice of at least 30 days to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. However, since your tenant signed a fixed-term lease (July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024), they are generally obligated to fulfill the lease unless there is a valid reason allowed under the law for early termination. You may wish to discuss the situation with the tenant and review the lease agreement to determine the appropriate course of action.
James L. Arrasmith
Founder and Chief Legal Counsel of The Law Offices of James L. Arrasmith
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