Periodic Tenancies

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on December 8, 2006 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Often, landlords are faced with periodic tenancies, which can arise with or without any rental lease, and there is no obligation on the part of either landlords or tenants to continue a tenancy past any given rental period.

A one-year lease requires a tenant to pay rent on a monthly basis, however, it also means he / she is under obligation to pay rent till the expiry of the entire lease period. Similarly, if a landlord wants to evict a tenant during the duration of a lease, he / she has to give reasonable cause for terminating the lease. Periodic tenancies allow both landlord and tenant to terminate the tenancy with proper notice, usually a full rental period. On the expiry of a lease, if the tenant does not move, typically the tenancy automatically gets transformed into a periodic tenancy, based on the period between rental payments i.e. if rent is due once a month; it allows either landlord or tenant to terminate the tenancy by giving a month’s notice.

Instead, of going in for a rental lease, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to having a periodic tenancy instead of a lease. While, a lease protects tenants against capricious eviction, as well as, limiting rent increases during the term of a lease, periodic tenancy allows a tenant considerable flexibility in determining when to end his / her tenancy.

In case, a tenant stays past the expiry of a lease term without his / her landlord’s permission, he / she is called a ‘holdover tenant’. Depending upon the jurisdiction, a holdover tenancy is usually treated as a periodic tenancy, particularly, if the landlord has accepted a rental payment from the tenant after his / her lease has expired. However, it is within the legal rights of a landlord to decline to accept payment for any post-lease residence, and file a suit for evicting a holdover tenant.

For tenant / landlord complaints against each other, both landlords and tenants should make a written record when / to whom the complaint was made, and when the issue was resolved, and whether the resolution was satisfactory. If, a landlord / tenant has problems that might cause a tenant / landlord to ask for early release from a lease, or seek a lowering of rent, he / she should provide written notice about the problem, including what action he / she intends to take if it is not remedied. In case, a good relationship exists between landlord / tenant, it is sufficient to report minor problems over the phone or in person. If, the problems are not fixed, and a lot of reported problems are not being adequately resolved, the tenant / landlord should instead choose to report them in writing. It is best practice to report all problems in writing, though it is wise to weigh that against the potential for damaging a positive landlord / tenant relationship by seeming heavy-handedness.

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