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Month-to-Month vs Fix-Term Lease

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

As a landlord, you have to make a decision as to whether you want to rent your property for a fixed term ("Estate for Years") or on a month-to-month basis ("Periodic Tenancy.") Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each is going to help you make the right assessment before you sign anything with your tenant.



Month-to-Month Lease

Pros:

A month-to-month tenancy is established, when neither party gives notice to vacate at the end of lease term. This creates an automatic implied agreement between the tenant and the landlord without having to exchange any communication or having any paperwork signed.


Cons:

On a month-to-month tenancy, both the tenant and the landlord are required to provide each other with a 30-day notice to vacate. This creates an ongoing uncertainty for both sides. As a landlord, you might find yourself in a difficult position to fill your vacancy, if the tenant decides to move out during a slow season (i.e Holiday season, Covid-19, etc.)


Fixed -Term Lease

Pros:

A fixed-term lease agreement protects the landlord and the tenant by providing both parties guardrails. Terms are expressed, not implied, so it possible to outline specific terms on the lease.

A fixed-term lease doesn't have to be made in increments of 12-month periods. Landlords may decide on the lease end date and make sure that it ends at a favorable time for them.

Tip: Summer and early fall get highest demand on rental properties in NYC.

Cons:

A tenant could legally move out at the end of their lease without notice to landlord. As a landlord, if you fail to communicate lease end/renewal options with your tenant, you may be taken by surprise when you find out your tenant has already moved out the very day you expect a rent check.

Tip: MyPropertyMan sends a lease renewal form to all tenants 90 days before the end of their lease.


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