What can we do if we are being charged despite an Expiring Lease and sufficient notice? 2 Answers as of May 02, 2011

Our current lease expires on 5/1/2011. Approximately a month ago, I sent an email to the property manager indicating all three current tenants (myself and two roommates) would be staying and doing a month-to-month lease. Roommates were in agreement and I was speaking on their behalf. Yesterday, one roommate said he was leaving at the end of the original lease, leaving us 4 days to find another tenant. Other roommate and I cannot afford rent split between us. Landlord says we have to give 60 day notice since we asked for a month-to-month. Landlord also indicated that early termination of month-to-month will result in forfeiting our security deposit. Since the original lease has not expired and we have signed nothing from the landlord, are we obligated/binded by the email, and can we move off the premise once the lease is expired without loosing our security deposit? We would like to move out at the end of May, ideally. Lastly, what actions, if any, can we take against the roommate who is leaving if we are penalized by the landlord? Thanks for your help in advance.

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Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
Everything depends upon what your lease states. If your lease has nothing about a month to month lease after the original term expires, you can leave upon expiration and you should receive your full security deposit back, unless there is damage. The email will not extend the lease at this point in time, as you are still under the original lease, again, depending upon the terms of the original lease. You should have a real estate attorney review the terms of the lease to make sure you are ok, or contact one of the many indigent legal services organizations as they are usually familiar with leases.
Answer Applies to: Maine
Replied: 4/29/2011
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