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What is a Month-to-Month Residential Lease Agreement?
The month-to-month residential lease is an agreement between a landlord and a tenant for one month of residency. This type of lease is automatically renewed each month unless terminated by the landlord or tenant in accordance with state regulations. While it is not legally advised, if there is no verbal or written residential lease agreement, it is implied to operate on a month-to-month basis.
When someone opts to enter into a month-to-month residential lease agreement, it’s quite different from the lease agreements that accommodate standard amounts of time such as six months or a single year. These month-to-month leases also allow for much more flexibility when it comes to accommodations because either of the involved parties can opt to end the lease at will. This frees up the opportunity for the property owner to either sell the property or move onto the premises. This is also a great trial lease for landlords that can help them weed out any renters that are disruptive or troublesome.
This is also useful for some Connecticut tenants that are unsure of the duration of their residency since there’s no long-term obligation. For example, if someone is waiting for a particular property to come onto the market for purchase, entering into a month-to-month lease makes it easy to move out when it’s convenient.
With one of these Connecticut leases, after the first month has expired, the lease will automatically renew. Going forward, this will happen, and all of the responsibilities set forth in the first lease agreement will automatically roll forward into the next month.
This type of lease agreement can serve as a great way to have a system in place for a tenancy so that there’s some legal coverage should things go sour or there’s a need for a sudden departure of a tenant. With that in mind, it’s essential for landlords to draw up the most comprehensive month-to-month lease agreements possible so that there’s a reduced potential for loss during the tenancy.
Writing a Month-to-Month Lease Agreement in Connecticut
In Connecticut, it’s essential that a month-to-month lease agreement covers all of the specific conditions that the landlord would like to upkeep for the property. This will ensure that the tenancy is as pleasant for both parties as possible, and it will also provide some framework for the process when the lease is terminated. It’s also important to understand that, in Connecticut, there is no statute that states a minimum time period that a landlord or renter must give when canceling a lease of this type, though a thirty-day period is recommended.
Here are a few things to include when writing a lease agreement of this type:
Tenant and Landlord Information
In this section, it’s critical that both party’s information is recorded. Ensure that the landlord’s full name, in addition to the renter’s full name, is demarcated in this section. For thoroughness, information about the parties involved can also be included. This might be contact information for both the tenant and the owner as well as information for contacting the property manager if there is one. Finally, in this section can also include the date of the contract.
Information About the Property
When writing a lease agreement like this, it’s crucial to include a property description. This will consist of the actual physical address of the property in question, and information like the location of the county clerk’s office can also be included here. In addition to this information, if there’s a preset storage space that is granted to the renter, this information should be listed here as well.
Term of the Lease
As one might expect, this can oftentimes be the most critical parts of a residential lease of this type. To start, the date when the lease is set to begin should be listed clearly in this section. In addition to this, the end of the first month should also be set as the end date of the lease. This type of lease perpetually renews until one of the parties decides to end it, so the next part of the lease should clearly state this fact so that all parties understand its inherent nature. It’s also vital that this section indicates that the conditions of the lease must be met on a month-to-month basis in order for the lease to continue.
Lease Payments and Rent
Now that the term of the lease has been established, things like the amount of rent payable at the beginning of each month, security deposits, and late fees must also be covered in the month-to-month lease agreement. The first thing that should be clear stated is the amount of rent due monthly, and when including this, understand that it will have to be clearly written twice – once written out and a second time for the precise dollar amount in numerals. The calendar month of the first payment should also be noted here.
After this information has been included, a separate “Security Deposit” section can be included that includes the proposed value of this one-time deposit. Finally, in the “Late Charges” section, the information on the latest day that a payment can be received without incurring a separate late fee must be included. It must be clearly stated that paying past a predetermined grace period will place the tenant in violation of the lease.
In this section, the maximum number of occupants in a set property should be clearly outlined. This is to ensure that there isn’t an overage of legal tenants residing in a single property.
Notice to Vacate
With a month-to-month lease, a landlord can opt to evict in a similar way as one might use to evict a person who has signed a traditional lease. It’s essential that this is understood, so landlords need to include a section that there will be a three-day (or more) notice to vacate should the lease terms not be met. Reasons for this can include excessive late payment of rent or violating the letter of the lease in some other way.
For the sake of clarity, there should also be a section that covers the full range of tenant expectations so that the rules of the lease are met in perpetuity. Here are a few things to consider:
- Parking: In Connecticut, many people drive, and some properties provide assigned parking spaces for tenants to use. In some situations, this can also include a lot that any resident on the property can take advantage of as well. A tenant should provide details about their vehicle so that the car isn’t towed away at their expense. A landlord can even assign a ticket so that there are no unfortunate circumstances down the road.
- Noise: Noise statutes are clear throughout Connecticut, and it’s expected that some landlords may set a quiet period in which tenants must keep the noise down so as not to disturb their neighbors. This can include allowable times for moving furniture in and out.
- Maintenance and repairs: If there’s a need for repairs, the cost should be covered by the landlord. Urgent repairs include flooding, broken windows, or doors that won’t open or close. There are codes in Connecticut that protect tenants from shoddy repairs or negligence, so it’s crucial for landlords to ensure that all repairs are handled quickly. Things like tenant responsibilities when it comes to shoveling snow or cutting grass should be included in this section as well.
- Abandonment: This section will provide some protection should the unfortunate event of a tenant moving out without notice occur. This simply determines the appropriate number of days, without rent payment, where a property is considered abandoned so that a landlord can then seek out new tenants.
- Signage display: This section, which can be called the “Display of Signs” section, will set the number of days before a tenant vacates the property before the landlord can advertise that the property is available. This ensures that the landlord can continue the revenue stream from rent so that they don’t have to deal with the cost of a vacant property. Under this section, it’s assumed that the renting party observed the rules of the lease and provided the appropriate notice to the property owner.
- Pets: Pets are very popular, and in Connecticut, many people have them. This isn’t to say that they are allowed on every rental property. Additionally, some properties will allow some types of pets, such as cats, but won’t allow dogs on the premises. Including a “Pets” section in the month-to-month residential lease agreement helps protect both the landlord and tenant from pet-related liability and can establish ground rules for owning pets on the property. For instance, in this section, a landlord can include whether a pet deposit is required for the property – this deposit can be used to help pay for any damages that may have been caused by a pet during a tenancy.
Finally, in this section of the Connecticut month-to-month residential lease agreement, the signatures of all involved parties must be included. This starts with the landlord, both signing and printing his or her name. Below this, the tenant must also provide his or her printed and signed name. Furthermore, any tenants that will be sharing a month-to-month lease must also sign as well. This section will bind all applicable parties to the rules and policies of the lease agreement.