We are leasing a duplex home which is owned by one of the landlords inlaws who are a family owned leasing property agency. Our lease ended May of last year. We've been renting month to month. On March 25th the landlord called me after 3 pm stating that the inlaw has placed the duplex for sale with a Real Estate Agency and that he would be contacting us to show the house. When I asked why we weren't provided adequate notice that they were selling the property, such as; 30 day notice, her response was she just found out herself. The landlord did not give us a 30 day notice, nor did they allow us the option to; either move or to purchase the home.
The following day March 26th,(less than 24 hrs) the Real Estate Agent contacted me to arrange a time to come by to take measurements and photos of the home. I expressed to both the Agent and the landlord that we were not comfortable with him taking photos of our personal belongings inside the home and we were not comfortable having strangers walk through our personal space. (Six months ago a neighbor was sexually assaulted in her home and another resident down the street was also assaulted.) At this point I felt that we weren't even given a fair amount of time to find another home. So the past two weeks we began scrambling to find a home in this area so we could keep our children in the same school. Prior to this information we received, we noticed that all the homes but two in this area were already leased. Due to the lack of notice we received we were fortunate enough to find one property (by the skin of our teeth) and because we wanted to make sure we gave our landlord a 30 day notice, we had to find a homeowner who would allow us to move in by May 1st.
I personally gave the landlord a typed-written 30 day notice dated April 6th for our move out date for May 6th. I made two copies; one for the landlord and one for our records. Both copies were signed by my wife and myself. While I was waiting for my landlord to finish reading our 30 day notice letter, I requested the landlord sign our copy to show that we were all in an agreement to our move out date, as well as to show that she received it.
Later that evening approx. 6 pm, the landlord called me stating that she made a mistake and claimed that she didn't read our notice (but I watched her read it!) before she signed it. She told me that we couldn't move out until June 1st. She stated that we had to provide her a 30 day notice before the first of the month. I expressed to her that it was only a 5 day window and they were selling the property, what difference would it make? She stated that based upon our former lease agreement that we had to give her notice before the 1st. She even commented to the fact that even though she signed off on our 30 day notice that we couldn't move until June 1st. I told her that it was too late that she accepted our 30 day notice when she signed it, that she could not change our move out date.
On April 14th, we received a letter (by USPS poste dated April 9) at our current home address from our landlord. In the envelope was her original copy of our 30 day notice in which she crossed out May 1st and hand wrote in red ink "June 1st" and enclosed a photocopy of the first page of our expired lease agreement highlighted in red ink regarding the 30 day notice requirements. However, she failed to include the 2nd page of the lease agreement which implicates another paragraph that states we must provide notice when we normally pay rent which is by the 1st up to the 5th of each month.
My question is; Can she change the move out date on our 30 day notice without our consent? Would this be considered legal? Also can she keep our deposit if she fails to do a walk through inspection with us on May 6th? I've never had a landlord dispute a 30 day notice before, what are our options and how should we handle this without being confrontational.