What sort of notice do I owe my roommates? I want to move ASAP.
March 14, 2014 12:46 PM   Subscribe

How much notice should I give my roommates if I want to move out as fast as possible without being a total jerk? Would paying the rent I owe for April be acceptable instead of giving them a 30 day notice? I'm not actually on the lease, if that helps. I haven't been in a situation like this before, so I am not 100% sure what to do. Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total)
What does your lease say? 2 months notice is typical.

If you have no lease then paying April rent in lieu of being there is a good gesture and a very decent compromise.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:48 PM on March 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Paying rent for April would certainly be the most anyone could ask of you. Nobody could say you were being unreasonable.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:50 PM on March 14, 2014 [8 favorites]

1 month is typical in NYC, or less. Offer to pay April only if they don't find a tenant. Offer to pay, say, a quarter of the rent you'd otherwise owe if they do find someone, so they have a continuing incentive to find someone ASAP. So if they find someone by April 1, pay 1/4 April's rent. That means a bonus for them and less cost for you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:54 PM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

April is definitely reasonable.

It's hard to give detailed advice on what you might actually owe legally without knowing where you are. Here in Ontario, for example, even though you're not on the lease you probably would be considered a "tenant" with all of the legal relationship that implies, and so your cotenants would owe whatever you owe - which if it's a month-to-month lease would be two months (april + may), if it's a fixed-term then that fixed-term.

You should also offer to try to find a new roommate. That would mitigate the financial impact on your roommates.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:55 PM on March 14, 2014

In Seattle--where it is very tenant friendly--you would only be legally obligated to give 20 day notice to move out. So you'd have missed the deadline for end of March, but end of April would be more than reasonable. (You can offer to pay rent for April if they don't find a new roommate, for example.)
posted by ethidda at 12:56 PM on March 14, 2014

If you're paying all of April's rent up-front, there's generally an agreement in these sorts of situations that if your former roommates find someone to replace you before the end of April, that new roommate pays you back for whatever percentage of April they stay for (i.e. you get half of April's rent back if they move in on the 15th.)

That varies depending on the situation where you live; that 15 days of free rent could be (necessary) incentive to get someone to move in, if the person moving in has their pick. If it's a tough market to find a place to live, paying for exactly how long you stay is more the norm.
posted by griphus at 1:01 PM on March 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

If you're a roommate, the thing to do is to give enough notice that they can replace you by the next time rent is due.

In my NYC-centric experience, two weeks is plenty (though 30 days would be preferred), though you should not expect to be pro-rated your March rent. Keep in mind that someone will be putting up a Craigslist ad and filling the room within a few days. There isn't really that much that needs to go on which requires extreme advance notice.

If you're willing to pay April rent, all the better.
posted by Sara C. at 1:08 PM on March 14, 2014

One month is standard in most US cities (not sure exactly where you are, though) and 100% reasonable - you do not need to give two months' notice. Paying the rent for April would be positively lovely and should engender some warm and fuzzies toward you, but isn't a requirement. I'd personally only do it if, 30 days from when you give notice, they hadn't found a replacement for you yet.

Really: you do not need to give two months' notice, especially since you aren't even on the lease. Do not waste your time and money doing that.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 1:17 PM on March 14, 2014

As soon as someone else moves in, they cannot legally take your money and theirs for the same room. So your incentive is to help them find someone else ASAP. Offer to help them show the apartment if you can, to post ads on craigslist every few days, etc.

You should let them know your plan to move out by the end of April at the latest. Don't suggest that you'll move out sooner, but pay for April or else their incentive is to get someone for May 1st and enjoy the empty apartment. I would guess that 2 weeks is too little notice to be fair — unless they find someone.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 1:33 PM on March 14, 2014

The one month notice is typically done on the month prior. So if you give notice in April, you're still on the hook for May 1's rent. So give notice this month if you don't want to pay for May's rent. You'd still be paying for April.
posted by DetriusXii at 1:50 PM on March 14, 2014

You're not obliged to give notice, you have no lease. Pay April's rent and move out.
posted by mattoxic at 3:24 PM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Since you don't have a least, legally you probably don't owe them any notice or anything. I'd personally do 30-days notice and offer to pay pro-rated rent through April 14.
posted by radioamy at 6:23 PM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Giving notice before the first day of your last month is perfectly acceptable. Expecting two months notice is crazy. Giving less notice than a month may be iffy. Many jurisdictions have laws concerning the operation of month-to-month tenancies in the absence of a written lease.
posted by grouse at 6:59 PM on March 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Paying April is very nice and non-dickish. No one could get mad at you for that. If they do, they are unreasonable. I personally would try to quickly find a replacement and pay nothing.
posted by AppleTurnover at 2:02 AM on March 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Agree with Appleturnover and others. I'd offer to pay April's rent IF they don't find someone to fill the space before the end of the month. That's more than fair.
posted by liquado at 9:19 AM on March 17, 2014

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