Monday, July 1, 2013

MBE Fast Fact: Landlord/Tenant Law

Three tenancies (landlord/tenant law) you'll be required to distinguish between when taking the MBE are the tenancy for years, the periodic tenancy, and the tenancy at will. The relevant characteristics of each are below:

Tenancy for years:

It’s important to note that a tenancy for years continues for a fixed period of time. That time could differ, but it will always be fixed. If the amount of time is greater than a year, then the statute of frauds requires a writing to create a this type of tenancy. It ends automatically upon the expiration of the stated time, but the tenant can surrender the tenancy prior to the expiration of the stated time. The landlord must accept such surrender, and the surrender must be in writing if more than one year remains on the lease.

Periodic Tenancy:

A periodic tenancy continues for successive periods (for example month to month). This type of tenancy can only be terminated upon notice by either party. In addition, the tenancy will be renewed automatically if notice is not provided. There are no bright-line rules here, but usually the notice must be one full term so that if it’s a month-to-month tenancy, one month of notice is required. A year-to-year tenancy, however, usually required only 6-months notice under the common law.

Tenancy at Will:

The most important characteristic of this type of tenancy is that it is terminable at the will of either the landlord or tenant. No notice on either end is required. An express agreement that the tenancy is terminable at will is needed, otherwise the courts will treat the tenancy as a periodic tenancy requiring notice to terminate.

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