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Periodic Tenancy

DEFINITION

Lease that automatically renews unless the tenant or landlord provides a notice of termination.

EXPLANATION

Periodic tenancy — also known as an “estate from period to period” — is a lease that automatically renews until a tenant or landlord terminates it in writing. Most periodic tenancies are month-to-month.

In the event that a landlord wants to change any lease terms — such as the payment schedule or rent amount — he or she must provide the tenant with a 30-day advance warning of proposed changes. If the landlord wishes to increase the rent beyond the standard cost of living increase (3.5%), he or she must provide the tenant with a 60-day advance warning.

Both landlord and tenant must also provide advance notice prior to terminating the lease. Typically, a 30-day advance termination warning is expected. However, if a tenant has been living on the property for more than 12 rental months, a landlord must provide at least a 60-day advance warning. If the tenant is renting though Section 8 housing, the landlord must provide a 90-day advance warning.

Leases may be terminated earlier if both parties agree.

Under California law, a termination notice can be scheduled on a different date than the first or last day of the lease agreement as long as both parties have been provided advance warning.

A periodic tenancy, otherwise known as an estate from period to period, is a leasehold estate for a specified period. A periodic tenancy continues for successive periods up to the point that the tenant or landlord gives the other notification of termination of the tenancy. If the lease ends and the tenant makes an additional payment of which the landlord accepts, the lease will continue. Under a periodic tenancy, the lease will continue until either the landlord or tenant decides to terminate the contract. Such an agreement can be created expressly or by implication.

Periodic tenancy usually refers to leases being on a month-to-month basis because standard real estate practice dictates that a landlord will receive necessary payment monthly. In the event no lease term has been determined or agreed upon, a month-to-month lease will be in place until either party decides to terminate the lease.

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