What is Month-to-Month Tenancy?

Month-to month tenancy is categorized as a periodic tenancy in which the tenant rents from the property owner one month at a time. In the absence of a written or verbal agreement, tenancy is considered to be month to month. 

How Month-to-Month Tenancy Works

Tenancy falls under the real estate laws which cover leases. In legal real estate terminology, a lease is a contract between the owner of a property and a tenant, or renter. The lease transfers the owner’s rights to the exclusive possession and use of the property to the tenant for an agreed upon period.

Month-to-month tenancy falls under the real estate laws which cover leases.

As anyone who has rented an apartment knows, the lease sets forth the period of time the contract is to run and the amount of rent the tenant is contracted to pay. The renter gains access to the property and uses it in whatever manner that was agreed upon in the lease. The landlord receives rent for a specified period of time and gets his ownership rights returned after the lease period.

Key Takeaways

  • Month-to month tenancy is a periodic tenancy wherein the tenant rents from the owner on a monthly basis. 
  • This type of tenancy is most commonly found in residential leases.
  • Other variations of tenancies found in lease contracts include tenancy for years, tenancy at will, and tenancy at sufferance. 

Different Types of Tenancy

Within the lease contract, the tenant’s legal right to possess the property is deemed the leasehold estate – or tenancy. Dependent upon the contract’s language, the following four different tenancies can be established:

  • Tenancy for years, or tenancy for term, establishes an ownership for the tenant that will last for a fixed time period. This period could range from days to years and has a specific starting and ending date. The ending date signifies the expiration of the renter’s tenancy.
  • Periodic tenancy is established when the renter’s ownership is contracted for an indefinite period where there is no agreed upon expiration date. Originally the tenancy is created for a specific period. However, the renter’s ownership can continue until there is some notification of the lease’s termination. Under the terms of the lease, the contract is automatically renewable until the owner or renter gives a notice to terminate.
  • Tenancy at will gives the renter the right to own the property for an unspecified period. The tenancy continues until the owner or renter gives notice of termination. In the event of either party’s death, the tenancy is terminated.
  • Tenancy at sufferance occurs when the renter, who at one time had established a contractual tenancy, continues to possess the property without the owner’s consent. This type of ownership can occur when the renter does not surrender the property after the initial expiration date written into the lease.

Month-to-month tenancy is a periodic tenancy created when the renter is granted ownership of the property with no definite expiration date and pays the owner on a monthly basis. This tenancy is most commonly found in residential leases.