Moving out without a written 30 day notice
What can a landlord do with the deposit if you move out without giving a WRITTEN 30 day notice? Here's the situation: My roommate wrote me a note mid-June that she would move out by July 31 and that she was aware she needed to give my parents (who are the landlords; we are renting the house from them, they live in a separate location) a 30 day notice. This note was addressed to me in an FYI sort of way since she didn't have a place secured yet but she "wanna move out" (her words exactly) by that time. Rent payments (including mine) are mailed directly to the landlord. In other words, I don't collect the rent from her. She said she would let the landlords know the next day. She called the landlord the next day and said she 'wanna move out' by 7/31. She was told to send a WRITTEN notice that she would move out when she was certain, NO LATER THAN 30 DAYS before her moveout date since she's flaked out before after giving a verbal notice (back in May, see below). We also told her about the written 30 day notice requirement back in February, when she said that she was going to move out in May (her plans fell through so she stayed another 3 months which she didn't mention until Mid-May when I asked her when she would be moving out). Prior to that, in July of 2007, she was told about the 30 day notice when she first moved in and signed the contract (its written in the contract). Every time, she was told that the notice needed to go the landlord, NOT ME. TOTAL TIMES NOTIFIED THAT A 30 DAY WRITTEN NOTICE IS REQUIRED: 3 TIMES (4, including the line in the contract that says the 30 day notice must be in writing. The other 3 times were verbally given: 7/07 when she signed the contract before she moved in, 2/08 and 6/08) She told me last week in a note, that she was certain she would move out by the end of this month. So far, no letter has been sent to the landlords expressing her intent to move out. My question (rephrased, hopefully, for clarity): 1. If my roommate agreed to give a written 30 day notice to the landlord, which is 1) required and stated in the contract she signed and 2) was notified on 4 different occasions that it was required, but she did not, is this reasonable grounds for not returning the deposit? Her communication is 'wanna move out' twice, once in writing to me, the other verbal about 40 days before her intended move out date to the landlord. Her communication of being certain that she would move out was given 12 days before the end of the month, but was written to me and not the landlord even after she was told that she needed send the notice addressed to them to avoid miscommunication and so that there is something in writing. ETA: The lease is month-to-month, if that makes a difference. ETA 2: I'm in California ETA 3: The deposit will be used for payment of her share of the utilities and damages (which will most likely add up to about half of her deposit) ONLY, not for rent or non-payment of rent, etc. The deposit is separate from rent and this separation is also mentioned in the contract. I feel that her communication regarding moving out should be made directly to the landlords, and not to a roommate (me), just as I would notify my landlord in writing that I was moving out and then verbally tell my roommates that I would be moving out. But that's my view and I know everyone views a situation differently so I wanted to see others' perspectives on this matter. Thank you for the responses.