Landlords and Tenants: Leases and Leaseholds
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Tenancies at Will
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A tenancy at will is a leasehold that can be terminated at any time by either the tenant or the landlord. Typically, this type of leasehold must be created with the express understanding that the lease can be terminated at the will of either party. If an express agreement does not exist, then a court of law may treat the leasehold as a periodic tenancy based on the frequency of the tenant’s payment of rent to the landlord.

Termination of a tenancy at will can be done without any notice by either the landlord or the tenant. For example, let’s say you expressly agree to rent an apartment from your landlord, with the understanding that it can be terminated at any time by either party. You pay your landlord on a month-to-month basis. Four months down the road, you land a new job in a new city, and you have only four days to move. You can pack your stuff into the moving truck and hand your landlord the keys, and your leasehold will be considered terminated. On the other hand, a tenancy at will can also be terminated by operation of law. For example, let’s say you are renting an apartment, and your landlord has a heart attack and dies. Death of one of the interested parties will likely terminate the leasehold.

Next, let’s take a look at tenancies at sufferance.

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