James D. Lynch
Types of Residential Leases
1) Tenancy for Years A tenancy for years specifies a definite term for the agreement. For example, a five-year lease is a tenancy for years. Note that a tenancy for years does NOT have to be measured in years. All that matters is the length of time is fixed and ascertainable. A one-month lease and even a ten-day lease are tenancies for years. The lease terminates automatically at the specified end date without the need for either the landlord or tenant to give notice to each other.
2) Periodic Tenancy A periodic tenancy specifies a definite initial time, and it renews automatically at the end of each period unless either the landlord or tenant gives notice of termination. A month-to-month lease and a year-to-year lease are examples of periodic tenancies.
3) Tenancy at Will A tenancy at will may be terminated by the landlord or tenant at any time and for any reason. A lease can NOT give the landlord the right to terminate the lease at will unless the same right is also given to the tenant. Although a tenancy at will can technically be terminated instantly, statutes in many jurisdictions require advance written notice.
4) Tenancy at Sufferance A tenancy at sufferance is never intentionally created and exists as the result of a tenant wrongfully remaining on the property after a lease has been terminated or the agreement has expired. The tenancy at sufferance ends either when the landlord evicts the tenant or when the tenant enters into a new lease agreement with the landlord.