Community Housing

What happens when one roommate gives a 30-day notice under a Month-to-Month Agreement and other’s want to stay?

If both roommates are on a Month-to-Month Agreement and one leaves, giving 30 days notice before doing so, the agreement becomes null and void 30 days from the day that s/he gives notice or on the day specified in the written notice. The following two options are available to the roommate who stays: 1. Find a new roommate and sign a new contract; 2. Give a separate 30-day notice of intention to move out. The owner or manager retains all the prerogatives available to him/her under any 30-day agreement.

How does a Month-to-Month Agreement expand the options of owners or managers and tenants?

In tenancies under Month-to-Month Agreements, both the owner or manager and the tenant must give the other party at least 30 days notice, in writing, of any change they wish to make in the original terms and conditions. In other words, the owner or manager is entitled to raise the rent, but only after s/he has given the tenant 30 days notice of the increase. A 30-day notice to vacate may be given on any day of the month unless otherwise specified on the rental agreement.

What's the significance of a "Joint & Several" clause in a lease?

If an agreement states that you and your roommate(s) are "jointly and severally liable," it's confirming that you're individually and collectively liable for the entire rent. In the event that your roommate(s) fail(s) to pay, you can be held responsible for his/her portion of the rent. This "joint and several" liability continues throughout the stated life of the contract.

How does a fixed-term lease protect tenants and owners or managers?

When a tenant signs a lease, s/he is signing a legally enforceable contract. All the terms and conditions stated in the lease remain valid throughout the period specified. These constraints also apply to the owner or manager. The rent may not be raised during the specified period of a fixed term lease, nor may tenants be asked to vacate unless they've failed substantially to live up to the commitments they've made in signing the lease—if they're seriously behind with the rent, for example.

Is there someone I can talk to about my housing problems?

Yes, the Community Housing Office hosts an on-line Off-Campus Housing Resource Center. It is designed to answer specific questions about housing related problems, i.e.: roommate conflicts, deposit issues, and much more. While there you will be able to write to an experienced staff person who will respond to your concerns via e-mail or telephone. Also available is a searchable knowledge base and downloads containing resources for landlords, tenants, and roommates.

What is the best time of year to begin looking for housing?

You can begin your search at anytime of the year. It depends on your needs and desires. If you want housing in Isla Vista on the ocean (Del Playa), you will want to begin your search in early January for the following school year. Also, if you need a rental that accommodates more than 4 people (3 bedrooms or more), we recommend you start in early January. If you want to live in other parts of Isla Vista you can relax a little and search at your leisure in the Winter and Spring Quarter for the following school year.