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The below topic is covered in greater depth
  on our members' Types of Tenancy page.

The four basic forms of Tenancy are:

The estate for years is the most common type of leasehold interest in real property. It is actually any estate created for a fixed period of time and need not be for even one year.

  • The term must be certain
  • No notice is required to terminate
  • No maximum duration

Note: The Statute of Frauds requires "a lease for more than one year must be written."    A majority of American courts have also held that the fixed term and any option periods are added together ; if the total exceeds the statutory period a written lease is mandated.

Periodic tenancy , commonly known as week-to-week or month-to-month or year-to-year , is a tenancy which continues from one period to the next automatically, unless either party terminates it at the end of a period, by notice, which is usually the length of the rental period.

  • Distinguished from tenancy for years
  • Creation of periodic tenancy
  • Arising from holdover

Termination of tenancy : A periodic tenancy will automatically be renewed for a further period unless one party gives a valid notice of termination.  Today most states have statutes regulating the notice rule and typically require only thirty days notice for any tenancy, even year-to-year.  Contract law, however, usually allows for agreement on longer - or even shorter notice - if spelled out clearly in the written agreement.

Due process right

Tenancy at will is a tenancy which has no stated duration and which may be terminated at any time, by either party.

  • No notice to terminate
  • How at-will tenancies arise
  • Terminable at the will of only one party
  • Event caused termination

Tenancy at sufferance exists only in one limited situation; where a tenant holds over at the end of a valid lease. This "tenancy" is extremely insubstantial and will end as soon as the landlord exercises his option to either evict or hold the tenant to another term.

  • Landlord's right of election
  • Common law takes strict view
  • How a landlord exercises his option
  • Length and nature of new tenancy
  • Other provisions of a holdover term

Whatever choice the landlord makes, termination or renewal, becomes binding on him as well.

The above topic is covered in greater depth
  on our members' Types of Tenancy page.

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