James D. Lynch
The Holdover Tenant - What are the Landlord's Options?
A holdover tenant is a tenant who stays on the property after the expiration of the lease. A landlord with a holdover tenant generally has two choices of action:
● Option #1: Eviction. The landlord may seek to evict the holdover tenant.
● Option #2: Creation of a new periodic tenancy. The landlord may allow the tenant to stay and continue to accept rent from the tenant, creating a new periodic tenancy (usually a month-to-month tenancy).
Landlords are bound by the option they choose. For example, a landlord who continues to accept rent from the tenant may no longer seek to evict that tenant on the basis of the holdover.
Note that the written lease may override the landlord's choice. If the lease states that a tenant who stays on the premises after the lease term is automatically converted to a month-to-month tenant, the written lease has selected Option #2 for the landlord. In that case, the landlord cannot seek to evict the tenant on the grounds of holdover.