What is a 'Holdover Tenant'

A holdover tenant is a renter who remains in a property after the expiration of the lease. If the landlord continues to accept rent payments, the holdover tenant can continue to legally occupy the property, and state laws and court rulings determine the length of the holdover tenant's new rental term. If the landlord does not accept further rent payments, the tenant is considered to be trespassing, and if he does not promptly move out, an eviction may be necessary.

BREAKING DOWN 'Holdover Tenant'

Problems of holdover tenancy can be headed off by including a clause in the original lease stating what happens at the end of the lease period. For example, a year-long apartment rental lease might specify that at the expiration of the lease, the lease converts to a month-to-month lease.

What Happens if a Landlord Accepts Rent From a Holdover Tenant?

If a landlord accepts rent from a holdover tenant, the implications vary based on state and local laws. In some cases, accepting payment resets the lease term. To illustrate, if the original lease was for a year, a new year lease starts when the landlord accepts the payment. In other cases, accepting payment from a holdover tenant triggers a month-to-month lease.

What Happens if a Landlord Refuses to Accept Rent From a Holdover Tenant?

if a landlord wants a holdover tenant to leave, he must not accept rent from him, and he must treat the tenant as a trespasser. To remove the tenant from the property, the landlord must attempt to evict him through a holdover proceeding.

What Are Holdover Proceedings?

A holdover proceeding is a court proceeding between a landlord and a holdover tenant. Holdover cases are essentially eviction cases that are not based on missed rent payments, and in addition to dealing with holdover tenants, these cases can also involve other issues.

For example, holdover cases can remove squatters who have never had a lease or permission to occupy the property. Similarly, if your landlord wants to evict you because you violated a term of the lease (unrelated to paying the rent), that may also be called a holdover case. Landlords may ask the courts for a holdover case if you or your guests have created a public nuisance or if you repeatedly refused to let the landlord enter the property.

What Does Tenancy at Sufferance Mean?

Holdover tenants have tenancy at sufferance. Sufferance means the absence of objection without genuine approval, and a tenancy at sufferance is the opposite of a tenancy at will. This phrase refers to the fact that holdover tenants no longer have the landlord's permission to remain in the property, but they have not yet been evicted.

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