Month to month termination (Indiana)

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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 07:05 PM   #1
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Default Month to month termination (Indiana)

Indiana law regarding month to month termination:
We have terminated our month to month contract within excess of 30 day notice. Notice given in 2nd wk of December 2009. Our lease was for footage in retail store where next month rent was dedeucted from sales. We completely vacanted the store prior to Jan 31, 2010. Continuous notice given each day while moving stock out of store was given thru out the moving process. After vacating the property we where told that our remaininng sales check would be available the following week. This was communicated to us for three weeks in a row. Now after the fourth week we are being told that we did not give notice and that we owe them for rent service not given nor wanted for February when we where not in the store. Numberous verbal commuications have lead to nowhere. They are holding our sales $$ and applying to the next month full well knowing we where not in the store. What legal recourse do we have to collect those sales $$?
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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Default re: Month to month termination (Indiana)

This is commerical rental law, not residential rentals. The normal LL-Tenant law does not apply. What amount of time did your lease state was required? How much notice to vacate were you required to give? Did your lease state that this notice hd to be given in WRITING, and did you do so? Verbal notices mean nothing. Always get and give everything in writing.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Month to month termination (Indiana)

The contract did not specify verbal or written only 30 days was required. It further states with 30 day notice you can move out of your space with no penalties. Obviously written would have been better. Given the agreement is on their lease agreement is it not their responsibility to define verbal or written is necessary? It is clear they are attemtpting to take advantage of the situation. As far as I understand, it is the landlords responsibilty to define and any ambiguity usually sides with the tenant. I found this:
A rental agreement or lease is a written or an oral contract between persons. A properly written agreement will eliminate most of the misunderstandings and problems that commonly arise between a landlord and a tenant. A rental agreement benefits and protects both parties, and is an efficient way of handling a business transaction. Your written agreement may create a tenancy from week to week, month to month or year to year. For your protection, either as a landlord or as a tenant, it is usually wise to specify the exact manner in which the rental agreement may be terminated. If there is no written lease, the landlord or the tenant may end a week- to-week tenancy by giving the other party at least seven days notice prior to termination. Both parties may end a month-to-month oral tenancy by giving the other party at least 30 days notice prior to the end of the current monthly term.
A landlord may not limit or escape responsibility for legal liability by the use of contract clauses in a rental agreement signed by the tenant. If such a clause appears in any rental agreement, it will not be used against the tenant.
Ordinarily, a rental agreement is prepared by the landlord. For this reason, any doubtful or ambiguous terms are decided against the landlord and in favor of the tenant.
Under Indiana law, both tenants and landlords may recover damages in some situations for the unlawful act of the other party. However, Indiana law provides that a party may only recover their reasonable attorney's fees paid if it falls within special statutory exceptions or if the contact or lease provides for one party to pay the other's legal fees.
When can security deposits be applied to amounts owed instead of returned?
When a tenant moves out at the end of a rental agreement, there are certain rules for both the tenant and the landlord to follow.
The tenant should surrender the premises in as good condition as they were when the tenant moved in. This requires the tenant to leave the premises as he or she found them, making only the repairs needed to restore the premises. The tenant is not responsible for ordinary wear and tear on the premises. The tenant must leave a new or forwarding address in writing with the landlord.
After the tenant moves out, any of the tenant's money or property that the landlord holds as a security deposit can be applied to damages the landlord has incurred as a result of the tenant's actions. Indiana law provides that if the landlord wishes to deduct any amount, the deductions must be itemized in writing by the landlord and delivered together with the balance due to the tenant at the forwarding address provided by the tenant within 45 days after the tenant has moved. If the landlord does not comply with this law, the tenant may recover damages and attorney's fees through a court action. This is one of several instances where, under Indiana law, tenants and/or landlords may recover damages and reasonable attorney's fees for the unlawful act of the other party.
Does this not apply for both rsidential as well as commercial? i would find this had to believe one would be much different thent he other as bboth are business agreements. Or am I totally off base.
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Old Feb 24th, 2010, 08:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Month to month termination (Indiana)

The sections you quote are residential lease law. Commercial lease law IS much different. Residential lease law does not apply to commercial leases. Tenant protections under resdiential lease law do not apply to commercial tenants. The two are completely different. Residential tenants have an entire section of statutes devoted to their protection. Commercial tenants have few or none. Sorry. The reason for this is simple. Residential tenants use the rental as their home. If they are not protected, the tenant could end up homeless through no fault of their own. Therefore, many laws are in place to protect these tenants. Commercial tenants are business people. They are in the business of renting space for that entity. They are free to negotiate any aspect of the contract from the rent level to improvements specific to their type of business. Since the types of business and the necessary demands of those businesses are so varied, it would be impractical to write one commercial lease law that would cover all situations and needs of the tenant. So business contracts are left up to the business owners to negotiate and handle the contract. Thus, there are few commercial lease laws. As a business owner, you are expected to know this.

Without written notice to vacate, how can you prove you gave notice? The burden of proof is on you, not the LL. He will claim you never gave notice. Unfortunately, it is then up to you to prove you did. Verbal agreements are not good, especially in commercial rentals where the written lease is the law. Do you have any proof that you did give notice and when you gave it? If you do, you can file a suit against them in small claims court to get the money back. In future, get all leases and agreements of ANY kind in writing.
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