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Must Tenant Give Notice that she is Leaving at end of Lease?

My daughter has a one year lease which is up on January 31, 2008. She informed her landlord (30 days in advance) that she would not be renewing the lease. They now tell her that she is required to give 60 day’s notice. My question: Does Massachusetts law require her to give 60 day’s notice, even though the lease expires on January 31st. -- (Submitted anonymously to the Forum Chat Room)



Self-renewing or automatic renewal clause in lease

Usually, if you have a lease, you do not need to give any notice of your intent to terminate. You simply move out at the end of the term. This differs from a tenancy at will agreement that always requires a notice of intent to terminate. However, some leases have a clause that "automatically" renews the lease unless the tenant tells the landlord, in advance, that she intends to move and does not want to renew the lease. These clauses are legal under Massachusetts law and usually require one month's advance notice.
So your daughter needs to look at her lease and see if it contains such a clause. If it does, and if that clause requires 60 day’s notice, she may have a problem. However, if your daughter must move out, Massachusetts law requires the landlord to make reasonable efforts to find a new tenant. She can also find a suitable candidate to assume the lease, subject only to the approval of the landlord (cannot be unreasonably withheld). So your daughter may be able to avoid responsibility for all or most of the rent due under the 'renewed' lease.  For more information or to post a question, visit our MA Tenant Law Discussion Forum.

similar issue

I signed a 2 year lease with a roommate. Both of our names are on the lease as co-tenants. She moved out in November and gave her notice back then, but she continued to pay her half of the rent. Our lease is an auto-renewal. I was just sent a notice, three weeks after the time to inform them of my intent to leave also. In the letter it states that my roommate has given her notice, they accepted what she said back in November, and now the lease is to auto-renew with me as the sole tenant. This does not seem legal since the original lease was with both of us to auto-renew. Also, I never received my copy of the lease. I brought this up to the landlord and she said that I do have it because she sent it via certified mail. I never received it, and I thought certified had to be signed for. I never signed for anything and neither did my ex roommate. We both wondered where our lease was, and asked for a copy way back in the beginning, we just never received it.

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