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What is a Month to Month Rental Agreement?
A month-to-month rental contract is a temporary agreement where a tenant is allowed to live in a property on a month-to-month basis.
Rather than using a full-year agreement, the tenant is able to choose to stay on a month-to-month basis until they or the landlord decide to end the agreement.
These do not include any definite expiration dates on these agreements.
With a month-to-month rental agreement, the tenant will have the flexibility to leave the property when they wish.
If they are not sure how long they will stay in the area or if they need a temporary home until they find a house to purchase, these agreements can provide them with the flexibility they need.
Landlords may choose to do a month-to-month rental agreement because it allows them to fill a property and increase the rent as needed.
When the rental market is growing fast, they have more flexibility to keep up with current rental amounts, rather than waiting a year or more for these increases.
They can also change the terms of the lease when they want.
Many of the rules that are found in a traditional lease will be found in the month to month It will list out what the tenant will spend on rent, what rules they must follow, and any other stipulations of living in the apartment or rental property.
The landlord and tenant can decide on the particulars of the month-to-month agreement.
Required Termination Periods
|State||Minimum Termination Required|
|California||30 days for tenancy 1-year or less, 60 days for tenancy of more than 1-year|
|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.|
|Hawaii||The landlord must give at least 45 days’ notice, the tenant must give at least 28 days’ notice.|
|New Hampshire||30 days|
|New Jersey||30 days|
|New Mexico||30 days|
|New York||30 days|
|North Carolina||7 days|
|North Dakota||30 days|
|Pennsylvania||15 days for tenancy 1 year or less, 30 days for tenancy of more than 1-year|
|Rhode Island||30 days|
|South Carolina||30 days|
|South Dakota||The landlord must give at least 30 days’ notice, the tenant must give at least 15 days’ notice.|
|Vermont||60-day notice for tenancy 2 years and under and 90-day notice for tenancies of more than 2 years.|
|Washington D.C.||30 days|
|West Virginia||30 days|
Why Should I Sign a Month-to-Month Rental Agreement?
There are different reasons why a tenant may choose to do a month-to-month rental agreement.
If they plan to move out of the area for a new job in the next six months, then it makes sense for them to use this agreement to get out of the lease quickly without losing money or having a negative comment on their credit scores.
Some tenants will choose to go on a month-to-month contract when they are searching for or building a new home.
These can take an unknown amount of time and it is possible that things will get pushed back a few times.
Having the ability to live in the rental for the amount of time they need can be helpful as they get things in order.
A landlord may choose to go with a monthly rental agreement because it allows them to charge more in rent for the property or may attract more tenants in a tight market.
They may even do this in areas that are growing as more people move in and are looking for a more permanent home over time.
How a Month-to-Month Lease Works
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, and 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:
Limited Background Check ($18.95) – RentPrep.com
Detailed Background Check ($35 per screening) – MySmartMove.com
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
First (1st) Month’s Rent
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)
Provide Access – To the property, common areas, parking, mailbox, etc.
Copy of Executed Lease
The tenant may now accept occupancy of 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.
|No. of Pages||11|
|PDF Size||4 MB|
Month To Month Rental Agreement Form PDF Free Download