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Month-to-Month Lease Agreement

Leasing your property with a free month-to-month lease agreement offers a more flexible way for a landlord to rent to a tenant. Create your own monthly rental agreement now with step-by-step guidance. 

California

Last Update September 12th, 2022

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What Is a Month-to-Month Lease

A month-to-month lease is a legally binding residential rental agreement that (usually) has no fixed end date and renews on a monthly basis. This allows a landlord to rent to a tenant flexibly rather than tying them into a long-term contract.

This differs significantly from residential lease agreements which usually last for a fixed duration, during which time the terms cannot be changed. Month-to-month agreements, on the other hand, allow tenants to leave or landlords to make alterations to the contractual terms at shorter notice. 

How Does a Month-to-Month Lease Agreement Work

Due to their flexible nature, month-to-month lease agreements are mainly used for properties that are used for shorter-term residencies. In most cases, you would use a monthly contract such as this for the following types of property:

  • Duplex

  • Townhouse

  • Room

  • Mobile Home

  • Vacation Home Rental

Whilst the residency isn’t as long term as you would get with a house or apartment, a written contract between landlord and tenant is still necessary to ensure the real estate is used properly and the resident is properly protected. As a rental agreement is more flexible than other types of contract, the terms are easier to manage if things change for either party.

How to Write a Lease Agreement

Writing your own lease agreement from scratch can be done using a online legal documents, which is printed off and signed. Using our contract maker you’ll be guided carefully through all the information needed in your state.

To complete your lease agreement properly you’ll broadly need to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Identify all the key parties (i.e. the landlord and the tenant).

  2. Describe the property

  3. Explain the lease terms

Obviously, these steps are a lot more detailed in practice as you’ll need to specify key data and terms of the contract such as penalty fees, dates, policies and security deposits. However, using our online designer helps you address these points as you progress through the process.

Alternatively, you can also ask a lawyer or real estate agency to draw up the contract for you. This, however, comes with costly fees and could prove more time consuming.

State Laws on Month-to-Month Leases: Notice Required to Change or Terminate

Each state sets its own rules on the minimum amount of time needed to terminate a lease. Your contract must stick to this duration or it won’t be enforceable and you could be sued by the tenant.

The specific rules for each state are as follows:

State Minimum Duration Statute

Alabama

30 days

§ 35-9A-441

Alaska

30 days

§ 34.03.290(b)

Arizona

30 days

§ 33-1375

Arkansas

30 days

§ 18-17-704

California

Tenancies under 1 year:

30 days

Tenancies over 1 year:

60 days

§ 1946

Colorado

21 days

§ 13-40-107

Connecticut

3 days

§ 47a-23

Delaware

60 days

Title 25 §  5106

Florida

15 days

§ 83.57

Georgia

30 days

§ 44-7-7

Hawaii

Landlords: 45 days

Tenants: 28 days

§ 521-71

Idaho

30 days

§ 55-208

Illinois

30 days

735 ILCS 5/9-207

Indiana

30 days

§ 32-31-1-1

Iowa

30 days

§ 562A.34

Kansas

30 days

§ 58-2570

Kentucky

30 days

§ 383.695

Louisiana

10 days

CC 2728

Maine

30 days

Title 14 § 6002

Maryland

30 days

§ 8-402

Massachusetts

30 days

§ 186-15B

Michigan

30 days

§ 554.134

Minnesota

30 days

§ 504B.135

Mississippi

30 days

§ 89-8-19

Missouri

30 days

§ 441.060

Montana

30 days

§ 70-24-441

Nebraska

30 days

§ 76-1437(2)

Nevada

30 days

NRS 40.251

New Hampshire

30 days

§ 540:11(2)

New Jersey

30 days

§ 2A:18-56

New Mexico

30 days

§ 47-8-37

New York

30 days

§ 232-b

North Carolina

7 days

§ 42-14

North Dakota

30 days

§ 47-16-07.2

Ohio

30 days

§ 5321.17

Oklahoma

30 days

§ 41-111

Oregon

30 days

§ 91.070

Pennsylvania

Tenancies under 1 year:

15 days

Tenancies over 1 year:

30 days

§ 250.501

Rhode Island

30 days

§ 34-18-37

South Carolina

30 days

§ 27-40-770

South Dakota

Landlords: 30 days

Tenants: 15 days

§ 43-32-13

Tennessee

30 days

§ 66-28-512

Texas

30 days

§ 91.001

Utah

15 days

§ 78B-6-802

Vermont

Tenancies under 2 years:

60 days

Tenancies over 2 years:

90 days

§ 4467

Virginia

30 days

§ 55.1-1253(A)

Washington

20 days

§ 59.18.200

Washington D.C.

30 days

§ 42–3505.54(a)

West Virginia

30 days

§ 37-6-5

Wisconsin

28 days

§ 704.19

Wyoming

No minimum

No statute

Terms That Invalidate a Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

As it is a legal contract, you must make sure all the details in your final month-to-month agreement conform to the laws of your state. You cannot insert conditions that would contravene property legislation in your local area or at a federal level.

Some key terms that would invalidate your lease agreement include the following:

A Non-Refundable Security Deposit 

Security deposits can only be collected as a guarantee against any damages or non-payment of rent. You must return the sum at the end of the tenancy unless you’ve deducted costs.

Charging Penalties Instead of Fees 

Technically speaking you may not legally charge tenants penalties. However, you may charge fees that recoup any losses. Any fees you impose for contraventions such as late payment or damages must be stated clearly up front in the lease agreement. 

Forcing the Tenant to Manage Property Maintenance 

It is the solely the landlord’s responsibility to perform property maintenance or hire contractors for repair work. This cost and responsibility cannot be passed onto the tenant and any contractual terms that explicitly state this requirement can’t be enforced.

Terms That Opt Out of Health Code Requirements

You cannot get the tenant to sign a contract that waives their rights to live in a property that is safe and habitable. Each state sets heath codes that must be met by law before a residential unit can be occupied no matter what is stated in the agreement.

Month-to-Month Rental Agreement Sample

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how a lease agreement template looks and reads before getting started on your own. Use our month-to-month lease sample below to get to grips with what this legal document contains.

Month-to-Month Lease Agreement FAQs

There are many important questions to ask when putting together a month-to-month lease agreement. Find out the crucial answers to many of these now in our FAQs.

Month-to-Month rental agreement vs. fixed lease

A month-to-month agreement is quite different from a fixed lease. Firstly month-to-month rental contracts allow landlords and tenants to maintain a flexible but binding arrangement that can be modified or ended at shorter notice. 

Lease agreements on the other hand usually last for at least 1 year and have fixed terms until the contract expires. They are most often used for rentals of family homes and apartments.

Is a security deposit necessary for a month-to-month lease?

Yes, like any home or property rental it is important to collect a security deposit in a month-to-month lease agreement. This is because it provides a guarantee for the landlord in case any damage is caused to the premises or the tenant is delinquent in paying the rent. 

How to terminate a month-to-month tenancy?

If you want to terminate a month-to-month tenancy the terminating party needs to provide written notice. You must make sure that your termination date adheres to local property laws on the minimum amount of notice you must give and follows the rules for contract termination set out in the lease.  

Can eviction occur with a month-to-month lease?

Yes, you can evict a delinquent tenant under a month-to-month lease. This follows the same process as evicting a tenant from a longer-term leasehold property. To do so, You must make sure that you follow the eviction laws in your state and that you correctly match the terms of the contract.

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