Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

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A month-to-month rental agreement is a lease that is for an unspecified time period and can be canceled or amended with 30 days’ notice. The landlord and tenant both have the right to terminate the lease with sufficient notice under State-Required Termination Periods. When a tenant enters into a month-to-month agreement, they will be entitled to all rights under landlord-tenant laws.

Rental Application – Landlords are highly recommended to screen a tenant prior to signing a month-to-month lease.

By State

By Type (3)


Commercial Month-to-Month Lease

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Residential Month-to-Month Lease (comprehensive)

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Residential Month-to-Month Lease (simple)

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Table of Contents

What is a Month-to-Month Lease?

A month-to-month lease is a rental contract that continues until terminates by the landlord or tenant with 30 days’ notice. In addition to termination, the lease may be changed with 30 days’ notice such as increasing the rent amount.

Most States require 30 days’ notice, although it’s best to verify with the State’s Required Termination Periods below.

Required Termination Periods

State Minimum Termination Required Statute
 Alabama 30 days § 35-9A-441
 Alaska 30 days § 34.03.290(b)
 Arizona 30 days § 33-1375
 Arkansas 30 days § 18-17-704
 California 30 days for tenancy 1-year or less, 60 days for tenancy of more than 1-year § 1946
 Colorado A tenancy for one year or longer, three months; A tenancy of six months or longer but less than a year, one month; A tenancy of one month or longer but less than six months, ten days; A tenancy of one week or longer but less than one month, or a tenancy at will, three days; A tenancy for less than one week, one day. § 13-40-107
 Connecticut 3 days § 47a-23
 Delaware 60 days Title 25 §  5106
 Florida 15 days § 83.57
 Georgia 30 days § 44-7-7
 Hawaii The landlord must give at least 45 days’ notice, the tenant must give at least 28 days’ notice. § 521-71
 Idaho 30 days § 55-208
 Illinois 30 days 735 ILCS 5/9-207
 Indiana 30 days § 32-31-1-1
 Iowa 30 days § 562A.34
 Kansas 30 days § 58-2570
 Kentucky 30 days § 383.695
 Louisiana 10 days CC 2728
 Maine 30 days Title 14 § 6002
 Maryland 30 days § 8-402
 Massachusetts 30 days § 186-15B
 Michigan 30 days § 554.134
 Minnesota 30 days § 504B.135
 Mississippi 30 days § 89-8-19
 Missouri 30 days § 441.060
 Montana 30 days § 70-24-441
 Nebraska 30 days § 76-1437(2)
 Nevada 30 days NRS 40.251
 New Hampshire 30 days § 540:11(2)
 New Jersey 30 days § 2A:18-56
 New Mexico 30 days § 47-8-37
 New York 30 days § 232-b
 North Carolina 7 days § 42-14
 North Dakota 30 days § 47-16-07.2
 Ohio 30 days § 5321.17
 Oklahoma 30 days § 41-111
 Oregon 30 days § 91.070
 Pennsylvania 15 days for tenancy 1-year or less, 30 days for tenancy of more than 1-year § 250.501
 Rhode Island 30 days § 34-18-37
 South Carolina 30 days § 27-40-770
 South Dakota The landlord must give at least 30 days’ notice, the tenant must give at least 15 days’ notice. § 43-32-13
 Tennessee 30 days § 66-28-512
 Texas 30 days § 91.001
 Utah 15 days § 78B-6-802
 Vermont 60-day notice for tenancy 2 years and under and 90-day notice for tenancies of more than 2 years. § 4467
 Virginia 30 days § 55.1-1253(A)
 Washington 20 days § 59.18.200
Washington D.C.  30 days § 42–3505.54(a)
West Virginia 30 days § 37-6-5
 Wisconsin 28 days § 704.19
 Wyoming No minimum No statute

How it Works (6 Steps)

On the surface, it may seem that there is less liability for a landlord in a tenancy-at-will. Unfortunately, this is NOT the case. If the tenant defaults on their lease the landlord will have to pursue the same eviction process as a Standard Residential Lease. Therefore, the same care and process should be involved when evaluating a tenant.

Step 1 – Tenant’s Credentials (Rental App)

Upon the individual showing enough interest in the property that they would like to discuss renting the property, the landlord should first conduct a background check through a Rental Application. This will allow the landlord to process and view the individual’s credit report, criminal background, and verify with certain references to the character of the potential tenant. To test the level of interest in the property, it is common for landlords to charge anywhere from $18 to $75 per applicant.

Use the following references to verify the tenant’s credentials:

Employment (Income) Verification – If the applicant has the income to support the rent, but has bad credit, the landlord can verify their employment status by verifying through their employer.

Step 2 – Begin Negotiations

At this time the landlord will be aware of the creditworthiness of the tenant. In most situations, if the tenant has a high-paying job and credit, they will be in a better negotiating position as they are more inclined to pay rent on-time.

For tenants with bad credit, the landlord may not be so keen to negotiate as they come with a higher level of risk.

Security Deposit

It is recommended that the landlord always seek at least the equivalent of one (1) month’s rent upon tenancy. At the end of the period, there will most likely be some damage to the property, and when returning the money, the landlord may deduct it from the amount.

For higher-risk tenants, the landlord should seek the equivalent of two (2) months’ rent or the State Maximum Limit in the chance the landlord has to evict the individual. This amount will at least carry the landlord through until the eviction is complete.

Step 3 – Writing the Month-to-Month Lease

Upon the completion of all negotiations, the landlord and tenant should draft a lease. It is recommended to use one of the State Specific Leases on this site as it will have the necessary clauses and disclosures needed for the property’s area.

After the lease has been created the tenant should give is a careful read-through to ensure that all the negotiated items (e.g., monthly rent, security deposit, parking fees, pets, etc.) are written exactly as they were discussed.

Disclosure Forms

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Required under federal law to be issued to all tenants entering into a lease when the property was built before 1978.

Move-in Checklist – Mandated in most States to settle Security Deposit issues after the tenancy has ended. Both parties are required to conduct an inspection before and after tenancy to accurately detail any existing damage or repairs needed.

Step 4 – Executing the Lease

After the landlord and tenant have agreed to the terms as written in the lease, the parties should agree to meet to sign.

Upon meeting, the parties should bring the following:

Tenant’s Responsibilities

  • First (1st) Month’s Rent
  • Security Deposit
  • Rent Proration Amount – If they have decided to move-in before the first (1st) of the month.
  • Parking Fee (if any)
  • Pet Fee (if any)
  • Pre-Paid Rent (if any)

Landlord’s Responsibilities

  • Provide Access – To the property, common areas, parking, mailbox, etc.
  • Copy of Executed Lease

Step 5 – Taking Occupancy

The tenant may now accept occupancy to the property. If the tenant signed the lease and cannot move-in until the first (1st) of the month then they will have to wait unless they decided to pro-rate the rent to move-in earlier. The tenant will not be subject to all of the terms and conditions of the lease until either party submits a notice to quit or vacate thus terminating the rental agreement.

Step 6 – Terminating a Month-to-Month Lease

To cancel a month-to-month lease, the landlord will be required to send notice by a termination letter. The notice should include the notice period and the reason for termination.

Lease Termination Letter

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Sending Notice

It’s recommended to send a lease termination by certified letter with return receipt. If either party decides to terminate by another method, make sure there is some proof of receipt by the receiving party.

How to Write

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Month-To-Month Lease Declaration

(1) Landlord. The full name of the Landlord seeking to lease his or her property on a monthly basis should be documented in the declaration made at the beginning of this agreement.

(2) Tenant. The complete name of every Tenant who will enter this lease with the intention of renting the Landlord’s property as a month-to-month rental is a necessary part of this document’s introduction.

(3) Date. The formal date of this agreement is requested. It is strongly recommended that the intended effective date be used.

Premises

(4) Street Address Location. Identify the property the Landlord shall lease on a month-to-month basis to the Tenant beginning with a report on its street address (i.e. building number, street or road, and if needed for access, unit number).

(5) City.

(6) State.

Lease Term

(7) Start Date. The first calendar date when the lease is in effect allowing the Tenant to reside on the property in exchange for the rent payment should be established.

(8) Required Termination Notice. While a month-to-month will afford a certain amount of flexibility to the Parties in terms of when this agreement may be terminated, a certain amount of day’s notice must be given before the end of the month. Furthermore, this number of days’ notice the Terminating Party must give should is an expected report. Make sure this number of days’ is compliant with the relevant jurisdiction’s requirement.

(9) Verify Notice Time Frame. As the statement declares, this lease may only be terminated (if no violation is involved) on the first of the month. Re-enter how many days’ before the first of the month that the Tenant must give the Landlord notice of his or her intention to terminate the lease.

Lease Payments

(10) Monthly Rent Amount. The exact amount of money the Month-to-Month Tenant must pay in rent for one month must be documented.

(11) Due Date. The two-digit calendar day of the month (i.e. 01, 02, 03…29, 30, 31) when the Landlord must be in receipt of the Tenant’s rent payment should be established in this paperwork.

Late Charges

(12) Penalty Payment. If the rent is not received in full by the first of the month (or the due date recorded above) then the Landlord will usually employ the option of imposing a late fee. Report the final date of the month that rent can be paid by the Tenant if not on time without receiving this penalty. Generally, this is known as a grace period.

(13) Penalty Amount. If the Tenant does not pay the rent within the number of days constituting the grace period (from its due date) then the Landlord may decide to charge the Tenant an additional amount as a penalty. Record the penalty amount.

(14) Default Due To Nonpayment. If the rent remains unpaid for a significant amount of time, it may become apparent that the Tenant will not gain the funds to satisfy the payment or has no intention of submitting payment. In either case, the final calendar date of the month that the Landlord will assume the Tenant still intends to satisfy the rent debt should be documented. If this calendar day of the month passes without any payment from the Tenant, the Landlord will be entitled to seek further action.

Insufficient Funds

(15)  Bounced Check Penalty. Unfortunately, there may be times when a Tenant submits a payment by check that is then refused by the issuing bank. Banks will often issue a penalty when such deposits are made thus, the Landlord may declare a penalty amount to be paid by the Tenant if he or she submits a check with insufficient funds. Document the dollar amount the Landlord will charge as a penalty in this agreement.

Security Deposit

(16) Deposit Amount. The Landlord can collect a security deposit to hold for the duration of the Tenant’s stay as insurance against any accidental or intentional damage to the property caused by the Tenant. If the lease naturally expires with no such damages then the Landlord must return this held money according to the timeline set by the state where the property is located. The dollar amount to be collected will need to be presented in this document before signing and is also dependent upon the statutes of the state where the property is located.

Defaults

(17) Default Period. If the Tenant has violated this lease in a way that implies he or she will not honor its contents and/or continue residing in the premises without any notice given by him or her, then the Landlord will need to pursue any actions needed to collect any money owed. Before the Landlord can take such measures he or she will often be required by the local jurisdiction to give the Tenant notice of this status. The number of days the Landlord will wait for a Tenant response before continuing to the next stage should be documented.

Occupants

(18) Occupants On Property.  Report the maximum number of Occupants that be allowed to live with the Tenant on the property for the duration of this lease without requiring additional Landlord approval.

Assignment And Sublease

(19) Sublet Option. Indicate if the Tenant will be allowed to sublease the property to a Third Party (Sublease Tenant) and act as the property’s Landlord in a separate agreement with that SubTenant or if this will not be approved of by the Landlord. It should be noted that any sublease arrangements the Tenant wishes to make must be submitted for approval to the Landlord in this agreement.

Utilities And Services

(20) Landlord Responsibilities. This document must handle the issue of the utilities and services that must be paid for when maintaining a property or premises. To quickly solidify who must pay for these items, a default list of what the Landlord can be set to obtain and financially maintain for the duration of the lease has been provided. Simply check off each item, the Landlord will be responsible for.

(21) Additional Utility Obligations. If a utility or service that the Landlord assumes the obligation of paying is not on the list, an area where you can report this utility/service has been provided. Any utility and service not selected or named in this section will be assumed to be the responsibility of the Tenant for the duration of this agreement.

Pets

(22) Pet Deposit. In general, Tenants cannot keep any pets without informing the Landlord. This agreement will solidify that written consent from the Landlord is required to keep a pet on the premises and that a pet security deposit (in case the pet causes any property damage) will be assessed before the pet can be brought to the premises. Document the full amount expected for the pet security deposit (even if the Tenant has not indicated that he or she will currently have a pet).

Abandonment

(23) Tenant Abandonment. If the Tenant is not present on the premises for a significant (or extended) length of time then, at some point, the property must be deemed abandoned by the Tenant. The minimum number of days when the Tenant’s absenteeism can be considered abandonment by the Landlord is requested.

(24) Rent Abandonment. If the Tenant has not been seen or has had a presence on the premises while carrying an outstanding (unpaid) rent then the issue of abandonment can easily spiral in cost to the Landlord if not handled correctly. Record the minimum number of days of the Tenant being absent from the property with unpaid rent required before the Landlord may terminate this lease.

Governing Law

(25) State Laws. Furnish the full name of the state whose courts dictate the legality of this agreement with the power of enforcing it when needed.

Display Of Signs

(26) Landlord Advertising. When the lease arrangement is set to end, the Landlord will need to advertise to gain a replacement for the existing Tenant. Naturally, placing a sign on a property for rent will attract attention possibly causing concerns of privacy therefore, a definitive number of days before the termination of this lease should be set as the advertising period when the Landlord can use signs and other means of gaining attention on the property. Use the space in this article to document the number of days before the lease’s termination when the Landlord is allowed to place signs on the property.

Noise

(27) Furniture Delivery And Removal. Use the spaces provided to solidify the earliest time of day when the Tenant may remove or receive furniture as well as the latest time of day when the Tenant is allowed to engage in such deliveries.

Parking

(28) Parking Accessibility. Indicate if the Tenant has been granted to park his or her vehicle on the property or if the Tenant has not been granted such permission by selecting the appropriate checkbox phrase for this statement.

(29) Available Parking. If the Tenant has been granted permission to park his or her vehicle on the property then the location of the assigned parking space should be documented along with the number of vehicles the Tenant may park in that area.

Balconies

(30) Balcony Usage. If the Tenant is allowed to use the property’s balcony(its) for storing his or her items, drying/cleaning fabrics such as clothes or rugs, and grilling then demonstrate this permission by selecting the first checkbox of the article displayed below. Otherwise, indicate that no such permission is granted by selecting the second checkbox phrase.

Additional Terms And Conditions

(31) Agreement Provisions. If the Landlord and Tenant have agreed that additional arrangement should be solidified in this paperwork and upheld by this agreement then, make sure all such provisions are reported or that an aptly titled attachment is included and named in this document.Landlord.

(32) Signature. The Landlord will need to place this document in effect by signing his or her name after it has been completed.

(33) Printed Name.

(34) Signature. The Tenant’s signature is required to show that he or she will comply with the conditions described above. Upon a successful review of this paperwork, the Tenant should sign his or her name to enter the agreement.

(35) Printed Name.