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Month-to-Month Lease Agreement Templates

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month-to-month lease agreement, also known as a “rental agreement,” is a type of residential lease used to rent to tenants one (1) month at a time. In comparison to a standard yearly lease, a rental agreement is ongoing until either party decides to terminate it. In other words, the contract automatically renews at the end of each month. This keeps going until either party provides written notice to the other party of their intent to terminate.

Also known as a:

  • “Tenancy-at-will”
  • “Rental agreement”
  • “Periodic tenancy”

By State



What is a Month-to-Month Lease?

A month-to-month lease is a contract that can be ended by either the landlord or tenant with written notice. The lease is very similar to a standard lease and only differs in that the term of the lease might end at any time. It is desirable to tenants due to its non-binding nature, and to landlords because they can often charge slightly higher rent.


How a Month-to-Month Lease Works

Step 1 – The Property is Prepared

Similar to a fixed-term lease, the landlord will need to:

  • Clean the rental thoroughly.
  • List the dwelling online.
  • Furnish the unit (not required, although more common with short-term leases).

Step 2 – Applicants are Screened

When an individual shows interest in signing a lease for the property, they will contact the landlord, who will then ask them to complete a rental application. The parties will go over information relating to the applicant’s rental history, criminal background, employment information, income, and much more. This is the stage where the applicant will commonly negotiate anything they deem important into the lease. For example, if large dogs aren’t permitted, they may offer to pick up the costs of a certain utility in exchange for being able to bring their pet into the rental.

It is highly recommended that the landlord establish a set of pre-screening criteria, as long as the criteria doesn’t involve the applicant’s race, nationality, sex, religion, familial status, color, or disability. Doing so helps remove any biases and prevents the landlord from being unintentionally discriminatory during the screening process. Assuming the landlord approves of the tenant, they will move onto the next step.

Step 3 – Agreement is Created & Signed

The landlord will need to download and complete the rental agreement. They provide information on the rent amount, the security deposit, furnishings, utility payments, pets, guests, and more. Essentially, every condition that is found in a standard lease, with the exception of the lease term, is included in a month-to-month agreement.

Once the agreement is complete, the landlord and tenant will sit down and go over every section. If the tenant agrees to all the terms, they will sign the contract. Upon all signatures being recorded, the rental agreement will be official and binding. The landlord will then collect the first month’s rent, the security deposit, and any other fees as agreed upon in the lease.

Step 4 – Tenant Moves In

If the property is pre-furnished, moving in is a very quick process, as all the tenant has to do is bring in their primary possessions and valuables. If it isn’t, the tenant will need to move their possessions into the rental.

At the start of each month, the month-to-month contract will renew automatically. When either the landlord or tenant wishes to end the agreement, they will need to provide the required notice period that corresponds to the state in which they’re located (typically third (30) days).

Step 5 – Agreement is Terminated

In the event either party wishes to end the agreement, they will need to deliver written notice to the other party. The form needs to contain the following:

  • The names of the parties (landlord and tenant(s)).
  • The address of the recipient.
  • The date on which the notice was sent.
  • Information on the lease (date of signing & date of termination).
  • Date of last rental payment.
  • Signature of the party sending the notice.
  • Information on how the notice was delivered (record of service).

Month-to-Month vs. Fixed-Term Leases

Month-to-month rental agreements share more similarities than differences with fixed-term leases. Apart from flexibility and containing slightly differing terms, both agreements establish the basic rules and terms that a tenant is obligated to follow. The major differences that separate the agreements include the following:

Increased Flexibility/Risk

Depending on the situation, landlords will find both pros and cons with the increased flexibility offered with periodic leases. After receiving a termination notice from a tenant, a landlord would need to prepare and list the rental, screen through applicants, and sign a new tenant, all in the span of thirty (30) days (assuming the standard notice requirement). On the other hand, this can serve as a benefit if the landlord needs to remove a tenant for any reason.

Tenant Removal

In comparison to a fixed-term lease, which requires the formal eviction process to remove a tenant, landlords can terminate a lease within thirty (30) days. Because a lease eviction can take up to three (3) months, opting to simply end the lease instead of pursuing formal eviction can save a landlord significant amounts of time and money. If the tenant is actively destroying the property or committing an illegal act, the landlord should go about the eviction process immediately to minimize any loss.

Rent ($)

Monthly leases almost always have higher rent in comparison to fixed-term leases. This is mainly due to the increased cost from the landlord having to find a new tenant at a moment’s notice. In other words, landlords add a “premium” to the rent in exchange for the added flexibility offered to the tenants. Additionally, a month-to-month rental unit is sometimes furnished, which can be an additional burden on the landlord in terms of upkeep. In addition to demanding more rent, the landlord will often require a larger security deposit (within the confines of local landlord-tenant laws).

Altering Rental Terms

A major benefit of a short-term lease in comparison to a fixed-term lease is the ability to change the lease agreement’s terms. The landlord only needs to provide the same notice as would be given for termination if they desire to alter the terms of the lease agreement. This can include raising rent, forbidding smoking, permitting/restricting pets, and more. If the tenant has a problem with the change, their only option is to terminate the lease and vacate the rental.


Required Notice Periods

The following table details the number of days’ notice that must be provided to the other party in order to terminate the lease in each state.

  • LL = Landlord (Lessor)
  • TN = Tenant (Lessee)
STATE REQUIRED NOTICE SOURCE
Alabama LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 35-9A-441(b)
Alaska LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 34.03.290(b)
Arizona LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 33-1375(b)
Arkansas LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 18-17-704(b)
California LL – 30 / 60 days
TN – 30 days
§ 1946 & § 1946.1
Colorado LL – 21 days
TN – 21 days
§ 13-40-107(1)(c)
Connecticut LL – 3 days
TN – 3 days
§ 47a-23
Delaware LL – 60 days
TN – 60 days
§ 5106(d)
Florida LL – 15 days
TN – 15 days
§ 83.57(3)
Georgia LL – 60 days
TN – 30 days
§ 47-7-7
Hawaii LL – 45 days
TN – 28 days
§ 521-71(a & b)
Idaho LL – 1 month
TN – 1 month
§ 55-208
Illinois LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
735 ILCS 5/9-207
Indiana LL – 1 month
TN – N/A
IC 32-31-1-1(a)
Iowa LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 562A.34(2)
Kansas LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 58-2570(c)
Kentucky LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 383.695(2)
Louisiana LL – 10 days
TN – 10 days
CC 2728(2)
Maine LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 6002
Maryland LL – 60 days
TN – 30 days
§ 8-402(c)(2)(1) and (c)(3)(i)
Massachusetts LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
Ch. 186 §12
Michigan LL – 1 month
TN – 1 month
§ 534.134(1)
Minnesota LL – 3 months
TN – 3 months
§ 504B.135(a)
Mississippi LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 89-8-19(3)
Missouri LL – 1 month
TN – 1 month
§ 441.060
Montana LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 70-24-441
Nebraska LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 76-1437(2)
Nevada LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 40.251
New Hampshire LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 540:3(II)
New Jersey LL – 1 month
TN – 1 month
NJ 2A:18-56(b)
New Mexico LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 47-8-37(B)
New York LL – 1 month
TN – 1 month
§ 232-A & § 232-B
North Carolina LL – 7 days
TN – 7 days
§ 42-14
North Dakota LL – 1 month
TN – 1 month
§ 47-16-15(2)
Ohio LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 5321.17(B)
Oklahoma LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 41-111
Oregon LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
ORS 91.070
Pennsylvania LL – 30/15 days
TN – 30/15 days
§ 250.501(b)
Rhode Island LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 34-18-37(b)
South Carolina LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 27-40-770(b)
South Dakota LL – 30 days
TN – 15 days
§ 43-32-13
Tennessee LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 66-28-512(b)
Texas LL – 1 month
TN – 1 month
§ 91.001(b)(2)
Utah LL – 15 days
TN – N/A
§ 78B-6-802(b)(i)
Vermont LL – 30/60 days
TN – 30/60 days
§ 4467(e)
Virginia LL – 30 days
TN – 30 days
§ 55.1-1253(A)
Washington LL – 20 days
TN – 20 days
59.18.200(1)(a)
West Virginia LL – 1 month
TN – 1 month
§ 37-6-5
Wisconsin LL – 28 days
TN – 28 days
§ 704.19(3)
Wyoming LL – N/A
TN – N/A
No statute.

Sample

Download: PDF, Word (.docx), OpenDocument


How to Write

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Step 1 – The Parties

The parties of the agreement are the person(s) renting the unit or home (the tenant) and the person renting out the property (the landlord). In this section, the landlord will need to enter the date they are completing the form, the name of the landlord (themselves), their address, and the names of the tenants.

Step 2 – Property Info

Write the full address of the rental. The unit number (if any) should be included as well.

Step 3 – Lease Term (Length)

This section is what makes the month-to-month lease unique (in comparison to other lease types). The landlord only needs to enter the official start date of the lease (typically the first of the month) and the number of days either party must provide the other in order to officially terminate the agreement. While optional, the landlord can write the state-specific statutes regarding notices in replacement of the “State Statutes” text (see the sample above).

Step 4 – Rent Payments

The tenant(s) will be required to pay rent on a monthly basis. Enter the full amount of rent that is required. If there are two (2) tenants, state the total amount of rent that is collected, not their individual rent payments. Then, specify the day of the month in which rent is due (commonly the last or first day of the month).

Step 5 – Late Charges

Landlords commonly charge a late fee if the tenant hasn’t paid the rent in full by the due date. Landlords rarely want to actually charge the fee – it’s used to prevent tenants from paying late in the first place. Enter the day of the month that the landlord will charge a fee if the rent hasn’t been received. Next, enter the actual amount ($) of the fee. In the third field enter the day of the month that that the landlord will begin the eviction process if the rent payment is still outstanding.

Step 6 – Returned Check Fee

Returned checks are also called “bounced” checks, and this situation occurs when a landlord tries to cash a tenant’s check when they don’t have enough money in their bank account. Enter the fee that will be charged to tenants for bounced checks.

Step 7 – Security Deposit

A security deposit is a monetary payment made by the tenant at the start of the lease. It is typically equivalent to one (1) month of rent and is used by the landlord upon the termination of the lease to cover damage to the unit or other related expenses. If there are no issues at the end of the agreement, the landlord is required to return the deposit to the tenant.

Step 8 – Furnishings

If the rental contains furniture, check the second box and list the furniture included in the property. If the rental is unfurnished, check the first box.

Step 9 – Utility Payments

List all utilities that the landlord will be paying for (if any). Any utilities not listed on the lines provided will be the responsibility of the tenant.

Step 10 – Parking

If the tenant is given a designated parking space (not street parking or a general lot), check the first box. If the parking space(s) cost money, check the second box and enter the amount of money the tenant is required to pay. Check the corresponding box if the tenant will be required to pay this fee once at the start of the lease, or once per month. Describe the lot(s) on the provided line (e.g., “space 52”). If no specific parking is provided, check the second box.

Step 11 – Notice Addresses

In order to end the agreement, the terminating party will need to send a written notice to the other informing them of their intent to terminate the contract. The address to which the landlord and tenant should send notices should be listed in full, including apartment numbers (if applicable).

Step 12 – Pet Rules

If the tenant can have pets on the premises, check the second box, enter the number (#) of pets, list each type of pet that qualifies, and enter the deposit that the landlord will collect (leave blank if no deposit will be collected). If the tenant cannot have pets in the rental, check the first box.

Step 13 – Governing Law (State)

Enter the name of the state in which the rental property is located.

Step 14 – Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

If the rental property was built prior to 1978, the landlord has to provide the tenant with a disclosure regarding lead-based paint. If the home was built after 1978, the first box can be checked.

Step 15 – Any Additional Provisions

If there are any additional provisions the landlord wishes to include in the agreement, they can write them on the lines provided. Otherwise, leave these fields blank.

Step 16 – Signatures of Landlord & Tenant(s)

In order to be legally binding, the agreement will need to be signed and dated by the landlord and the tenant(s). Their printed names should also be written underneath their respective signatures, as well as phone numbers and email addresses.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Landlord Raise Rent on a Month-to-Month Lease?

Yes. As long as the parties provide the required notice, they can legally raise the rent. This also includes changing any other lease conditions, provided they’re not protected by the state’s rental laws. Examples include pets, guests, smoking, parking, utilities, and more. Landlords should be aware that rent-controlled units are still under the same laws as fixed-term leases.

Does a Month-to-Month Lease Need to be Notarized?

No. If the agreement was signed by all involved parties, it is legally binding. Notarization can be used only if the parties decide to use that service.

How do you Terminate a Month-to-Month Lease?

A month-to-month lease is terminated through the use of an official lease termination notice. The form is usually a simple one-page document that establishes who the parties are, the date of termination, the day in which the last rent payment will be made, and any other related information regarding the termination. Landlords are also recommended to include a record of service, which proves the tenant received the notice or that a legitimate attempt at delivery was made.

Can it be Terminated for any reason?

Yes. The landlord does not need to specify a reason for terminating a month-to-month lease. This also goes for the tenant, who can end the lease anytime (and for any reason) they wish. The only requirement is that the state-mandated notice periods are followed.