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What is a Month-to-Month Residential Lease Agreement?
In the state of Alaska, a tenant and landlord may choose to partake in what is known as a month to month lease. These leases, often, allow tenants to rent a property on a monthly basis. Typically speaking, these leases are similar to long term leases, with the primary difference being the month to month basis nature of the lease itself. In most cases, unless otherwise agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant, the termination of a month to month lease requires a 30-day notice. This is one of the primary selling points of a month to month lease.
Often, landlords and tenants may come to a verbal agreement in regards to a month to month lease contract. However, the reason a landlord may choose to keep a month to month lease formal with a tenant often revolves around the termination policies in relation to a month to month lease. Without a formal month to month lease document, there is no way to legally enforce the notice timeframe. With a month to month lease contract, unless otherwise specified, the lease renews without a 30-day notice provided by the tenant.
Furthermore, a month to month lease contract allows the landlord to provide a set of guidelines and standards that are expected to follow while they remain on the property. Moreover, it allows all individuals on the lease contract to have received any and all of the disclosures legally required by the state of Alaska. This ensures that the landlord is covered, from a liability standpoint, and ensures that all tenants on the lease are legally obligated to follow guidelines set out by the lease. Ultimately, the document is used as a way to enforce the liability of the tenants and ensure the landlord is meeting legal requirements.
What is the Difference between a Month to Month Lease and a Regular Leasing Agreement?
Ultimately, the month to month leasing document a regular residential leasing document are relatively different. In most cases, a regular leasing document dictates specific, long term policies that may be set in place by the landlord. Information such as the ability to contact the landlord, maintenance agreements, the terms of the lease, and other relevant information is included on both documents.
However, information such as the landlord’s right to advertise the unit with which the individual resides as “for sale” as well as other relevant disclosure, such as permitted storage, parking, and any information relevant to shared living spaces should also be included in the document. These disclosures will assist in covering all legal rights of both parties, ensuring that both the landlord and the tenant are aware of the expectations of the residency and any penalties that will occur should the leasing document be violated.
Specific disclosures, as explained in the leasing document breakdown below, should be included on all documents to ensure the liability of both parties is understood. The information included on a long term lease tends to be geared towards a tenant who will remain on the property for more than 3 months, which creates a very different type of document with a different set of expectations.
How to Write a Month-to-Month Lease Contract in Alaska
Much like a long term residential leasing contract, the month to month lease contract will start with property information – including the location of the property the landlord has agreed to rent, as well as the unit number where applicable. In many cases, this is the section that will also detail information necessary for getting in contact with the landlord, such as the name of the property manager or landlord who is available to handle on-site issues, as well as the detailed information of all tenants of the lease who have been legally authorized to live in the unit on a month to month basis.
In the introduction of the leasing agreement, along with the previous information included in the introduction of the lease, the initial start date of the month to month leasing document should be included. This date will serve as the beginning of the leasing period and directly affect the date on which the leasing period will end – in month cases, month to month leasing terms will begin at the beginning of the month – making it important to note the terms of the leasing later in the document when it comes to the expectation of payment of rent and utilities, the 30-day notice of termination, and other important information.
The next section of the lease often consists of leasing information. In this section, information on the specific terms of the lease – in this case, the 30-day tenancy and the rollover of the lease on a month to month term without a 30-day notice unless previously agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant and documented in the leasing contract. Under the lease termination agreement, many landlords may choose to include information in regards to termination that breaks the lease. Typically speaking, the landlord will choose to keep the security deposit should the tenant break the lease without proper notification.
This section should also include sub-sections that provide information for the lease payments – such as the amount that will be paid, as well as the due dates. Furthermore, this section will dictate the expectations should the lease date begin on a day that is not the first day of the month. In most cases, the landlord will choose to prorate the rent for the initial month, with all following rent payments to be due on the first of each month, but this is up to the landlord. In many cases, the landlord will also include information here in regards to how the rent should be paid.
Another sub-section typically included in the leasing document is penalties accrued for late rent payments. This designates what officially makes the rent considered late, and the fines for late payments, either on a daily basis or a flat rate fee, depending on the landlord’s preferences. This section may also cover any associated fees the tenant will pay if a rent payment is returned for insufficient funds at any point.
The security deposit section is fairly standard on most leasing documents and is no different on a month to month lease. This section dictates the amount the tenant agrees to pay the landlord for a security deposit, as well any the instances in which some or all of the security deposit may be kept by the landlord.
Typically speaking, the landlord will dictate reasonable damages that may result in all or some of the security deposit being kept. Furthermore, the landlord may choose to provide expectations for proper notification of the termination of the lease, as well as any breach in the leasing contract as a reason for the security deposit to be kept. This section should also provide the legal disclosure that a security deposit is not allowed, in the state of Alaska, to be more than $2000.
Expectations of the Tenant
Another common section in most month to month leasing agreements includes the expectations of the tenant. This section is typically where the landlord provides information such as:
- Quiet enjoyment
- Possession and Surrender of Premises
- Use of Premises
- Condition of Premises
- Assignment and Sublease
- Dangerous Materials
- Utilities and Services
- Alterations and Improvements
- Damage to Premises
- Maintenance and Repairs
- Right of Inspection
- Holdover and Abandonment
- Extended Absences
- Binding Effect
- Governing Law
- Cumulative Rights
- Legal fees
More often than not, these sections are almost identical to those included on a typical, long term residential lease. There are some instances in which the landlord is able to dictate what the tenant is allowed to do – for instance, in the instance of the use of the premises, as well as for pets and other fees. Information on the expectation of utilities and what utilities the tenant will be responsible for should also be included, to ensure proper information is provided to the tenant.
Other Terms and Conditions
This is often the section that allows the landlord to provide expectations for residing on the residence on a month to month basis. Information in relation to temporary living issues is often included here, such as but not limited to:
- Display of Signs
- Locking of Dwelling Doors
- Right to Occupy
- Reporting Water Leaks
These disclosures are relatively important, as they allow the tenant to understand what is expected of them in accordance with their temporary, month to month living situation. Many landlords choose to include communal living space information, where applicable – such as what areas of the swelling that the tenant may occupy, where the tenant may park vehicles, and how the tenant may use the balcony or patio when provided.
At the end of the document is the section where both the landlord and tenant sign the document, making it a legally binding agreement between the two individuals.