Landlord Tenant Tenancy Definitions Accurate Credit Bureau

A rental lease establishes the relationship of landlord and tenant and is both a conveyance of a possessory estate in real property and a contract between the parties. Through the lease, the tenant receives a right to legal possession of the property in exchange for “valuable consideration” (i.e., rent) paid to the landlord. Most leases specify the duration of the agreement, any terms for extending the agreement and details regarding rent payments.
Because a rental lease is both a conveyance and a contract, two sets of duties between the landlord and tenant arise: those that exist in relation to traditional property laws, and those that arise due to the contractual promises of the lease. Many states also have legislation designed to protect the rights of residential tenants, including the right to fit housing and rules regarding evictions. Because these landlord-tenant laws vary by location, it is important to check state and local laws for specific details to ensure that you are in compliance with the law.

Types of Tenancies
In a landlord-tenant relationship, the landlord maintains ownership of the property and the tenant has the right to use the property, as established in the terms of the lease or rental agreement. Tenants have a non-freehold estate interest in the property, created through a lease or rental agreement that is written or oral. Non-freehold estates are often referred to as tenancies. As a landlord, it is important to understand the various tenancies that define the type of lease or rental agreement that exists between you and your tenants. There are four types of tenancies that you should be familiar with:

Tenancy for Years
A tenancy for years is a type of lease that specifies a definite term for the agreement, such as one month or one year. The lease terminates automatically at the specified end date without the need for notice by either the landlord or tenant. A tenancy for years is sometimes called a fixed term tenancy.

Tenancy from Period to Period
A tenancy from period to period is a type of lease that specifies a definite initial time, but that is automatically renewable unless terminated by either the landlord or tenant. The lease could be from week to week, month to month or year to year, and it is renewable indefinitely for a like period of time. A tenancy from period to period is also called a periodic tenancy.

Tenancy at Will
A tenancy at will exists at the pleasure of the landlord and tenant. In other words, it is in force until either the landlord or tenant terminates the agreement. In theory, a tenancy at will can be terminated instantly whenever notice is given by either party. In practice, however, landlords typically provide a reasonable amount of time for the tenant to vacate the property. A tenancy at will is sometimes called an estate at will.

Tenancy at Sufferance
A tenancy at sufferance is never intentionally created and exists as the result of circumstances. This type of tenancy occurs when a tenant remains on a property after a lease has been terminated or the agreement has expired. The only difference between a tenant at sufferance and a trespasser is that the former at one time had a right to occupy the property. A tenancy at sufferance is also called a holdover tenancy.

Itis possible that various types of tenancies can apply to the same rental over a period of time. For example, a tenant could start out with a one-year lease (tenancy for years), and once that period is over, the tenancy could switch to a month-to-month basis (tenancy from period to period). The type of estate that a person has in real property establishes the duration and the scope of his or her rights to ownership and/or possession of the property.

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