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Who is in the wrong- hawaii month to month rental no lease?

Defamation Law Discussion Forum

Who is in the wrong- hawaii month to month rental no lease?

Postby khalid » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:49 pm

Location: Maui, HI
I am in a month to month verbal rental agreement. I am trying to move out and get my last months rent back, as I have not used it yet.
The story is:
I moved in april 14th, and the landlord required 1 months rent and 1/2 months rent- the half month being to bring us to may 1, and the 1 months rent being to bring us to june 1.
However, she told me that if I found a place I would rather live, before may 1st, that she would return to me the 1 months rent and let me move happily.
A couple days ago she came and asked me how I liked my stay and if it was okay to delete the craigslist ad for the room. I said yes on both accounts. The next day, A co-worker offered me a room that was better and cheaper. So I accepted it, planning to use my months rent that would be returned to me to pay the first months rent at the new place.
Now the landlord is saying that it is too late and she is keeping the first months rent.
This is a problem because:
1. I have not yet lived here for that month
2. she told me she would return it (not written)
3. It is not the first of may yet (i told her 4 days in advance)

I realize that it is usually recomended that a tentant give 30 days notice before leaving. However, this is a very special and especially stick circumstance.
I want my 1 months rent back, and she is refusing to give it to me. All i have written is a receipt showing that I payed her the 1.5 months rent.
My question is- who will win in a small claims court?
khalid
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:42 am

Who is in the wrong- hawaii month to month rental no lease?

Postby gofraidh34 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:51 pm

She will win.....hands down!

Please explain: "A couple days ago she came and asked me how I liked my stay and if it was okay to delete the craigslist ad for the room. I said yes on both accounts. "

She said she would give you your month's rent back provided you let her know you found something before May 01. You effectively cancelled her offer by telling her to pull her ad because you were happy with the place. What exactly did you think she thought you meant?

I'm not sure why you think you are entitled to your month back.

Now the landlord is saying that it is too late and she is keeping the first months rent.
This is a problem because:
1. I have not yet lived here for that month.......................doesn't matter
2. she told me she would return it (not written)..............you rescinded that offer
3. It is not the first of may yet (i told her 4 days in advance).................... you are required to give her one month's notice. Whether it is a month and few more days doesn't make any difference.

Let me explain what you are attempting to do:

In good faith your landlord entered into binding month to month contract with you. For whatever reason you decided to leave. If Hawaii tenancy law requires you to give a month's notice then it doesn't matter that you just moved in April 14, you are required to give notice no later than April 30. That means you are obligated to pay for May's rent. Your landlord was being generous by providing an escape for you. She was under no obligation to give you May's rent back but was being generous provided you moved out by the end of April. She checked with you and you basically told her you'd be staying. It was only the day after that your situation changed and you found a better deal. What you have been doing is flip-flopping and your landlord had enough.

Edit:

As per your additional details:

Yes, Brandon. You are in the wrong. As soon as you told her to pull the ad you were implied that you would be staying, especially when you told her you were happy with the place. After all why would a tenant ask the landlord to stop advertising the place? She's not mind reader. It sounds like you told her to pull the ad because you were worried that she might rent the place before you found something. That is the only reason I can think of why you would tell her that. You did not know your co-worker would offer you something the very next day. Now she is telling you that you're stuck with the place until the end of May and rightfully so. What you were basically doing is expecting her to hold off on advertising the place until you found something while in the meantime she could be out a whole month's rent. Rent which you agreed to pay her in the first place.

You said: " that verbal contract was not relinquished because we have not yet passed the first of the month."

The verbal contract was rescinded the day you told her you were happy with the place and to delete the ad. That would only mean one thing- that you would be staying after all. You would have been smarter to have told her not to delete the ad because you were still in the process of looking. She would continue advertising the place and you would have had until April 30 to find something else.
gofraidh34
 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:39 am

Who is in the wrong- hawaii month to month rental no lease?

Postby cadby » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:54 pm

You told her to take down the ad. As a result she stopped looking which may have cost her the month's income. Yes, you are wrong here.
cadby
 
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:23 am

Who is in the wrong- hawaii month to month rental no lease?

Postby kirklin » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:01 pm

Yep, I'm afraid I have to agree with the others. When she asked if she could take down the ad, she was basically asking if you were staying for the month of May. Why not give your 30 day notice now and move at the first of June? Maybe not ideal, but it could work.
kirklin
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:21 am


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