Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tenancy at Sufferance

When taking the MBE, it's important to keep the various tenancies distinct in your mind, and in regards to a tenancy at sufferance, it applies in only one specific situation. You should consider this tenancy whenever a tenant "holds over" (remains on the premises) at the end of a valid lease.

Once the tenant remains on the premises at the completion of a valid lease thereby creating a tenancy at sufferance, the landlord has a few options. The landlord can either evict the tenant or hold the tenant to another term. A question may arise as to what type of tenancy will be created if the landlord chooses the latter option and holds the tenant to another lease term; most courts hold the tenancy is a periodic tenancy, and the period will generally be the same as was created in the tenant's previous lease. So, if tenant had a month-to-month tenancy prior to holding over, the landlord will be entitled to require the tenant to pay rent for another month if tenant remains on the premises after the completion of the lease. Many courts are reluctant, however, to hold the tenant to a new tenancy for years, even if the previous lease called for that tenancy. In such instances, the majority calls for creating a new month-to-month tenancy, at least in regards to residential tenants.

Note that it's not always entirely clear in the questions as to whether the landlord has chosen to hold the tenant to a new periodic tenancy. A good indication that the landlord has in fact chosen to hold the tenant to a new periodic tenancy is if the landlord accepts rent from the tenant after the completion of the original lease.

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