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Month-to-Month Lease Agreement Templates

month-to-month lease agreement, also known as a “rental agreement”, is a type of residential lease used for renting to tenants one (1) month at a time. In comparison to a standard yearly lease, which has a known beginning and end date, 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 end it.

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 through the use of a written notice. The lease is very similar to a standard lease and only differs in the fact that neither party knows how long the lease will extend for. It’s commonly preferred by tenants for its non-binding nature, and landlords for their ability to charge 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 vacant unit online;
  • Furnish it (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 require them to complete a rental application. Here the parties will go over information relating to the applicant’s rental history, criminal background, employment information, income, and much more. This is also when the applicant will commonly negotiate anything they deem as 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 establishes a set of pre-screening criteria, so long the criteria doesn’t involve the applicant’s race, nationality, sex, religion, familial status, color, or disability. Doing so helps to remove any biases and prevents the landlord from unintentionally committing discrimination during the screening process. Assuming the landlord approves of the tenant, they will move onto the next step.

Step 3 – Create & Sign the Agreement

The landlord will need to download and complete the rental agreement. They will need to enter information on 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.

Once the agreement is finished, the landlord and tenant(s) will sit down and go over every section. So long the tenant(s) agree to all listed 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 months’ rent, the security deposit, and any other deposits as agreed-upon in the lease.

Step 4 – Move-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.

Once the tenant has fully moved in, the lease will be in full effect. At the start of each month, the 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 – Terminating the Agreement

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 a minimum of the following:

  • The names of the parties (landlord and tenant(s))
  • The address of the recipient
  • The date in which the notice is 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 have far more similarities with fixed-term leases than differences. Apart from offering more 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 are the following:

Increased Flexibility/Risk

Depending on the situation, landlords can find the increased flexibility offered with periodic leases a pro or con. 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. Having said, 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 tenant(s). Additionally, the parties may need to use a furnished unit, which contains significantly more liability on the hand of the landlord. In addition to requiring greater rent, the landlord will commonly require a greater security deposit so long it conforms to state law requirements.

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 lists the amount of notice that must be provided to the other party in order to terminate the lease.

  • 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(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(b)
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 – 1 month
TN – 1 month
§ 8-402(b)(3)
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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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

Yes. So long the parties provide the required notice (i.e “3o days”), they can legally raise the rent. This also includes changing any other lease condition. So long the necessary notice is given, the landlord can alter clauses on anything so long it’s not protected by the state’s lease 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, meaning rent can

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

No. So long the agreement is signed by all involved parties it is legally binding to the fullest. Notarization can be used for the form if the parties desire.

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 commonly a simple one (1) 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 is used for proving 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.


Sample

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument (.odt)


How to Write

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument (.odt)

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 name(s) of the tenant(s).

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

Step 6 – Returned Check Fee

Returned checks are also called “bounced” checks, and occurs when a landlord tries to cash a tenant’s check when they don’t have enough money in their bank account.

Step 7 – Security Deposit

A security deposit is a monetary payment paid 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 rental or other tenant-caused expenses. If there are no issues at the end of the agreement, the landlord is required to return the deposit to the tenant(s).

Step 8 – Furnishings

If the rental contains furniture, check the second box and list the major types of 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(s).

Step 10 – Parking

If the tenant(s) have a designated parking space (not street parking or a general lot), check the first box. Then, if the parking space(s) cost an additional payment, 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 the rent 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, either party needs to send a written notice to the other informing them of their intent to terminate the contract. The address in which the landlord and tenant should send notices to should be listed in full, including apartment numbers (if applicable).

Step 12 – Pet Rules

If the tenant(s) can have pet(s) 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(s) 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(s) 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 sections the landlord wishes to include in the agreement, they can write them on the seven (7) lines provided. Otherwise, leave the field blank.

Step 16 – Signatures of Landlord & Tenant(s)

In order to become 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. The contact information (email + phone) is recommended, but not mandatory to include.