A month-to-month lease agreement (“tenancy at will”) is a legal contract between a landlord and tenant for the rental of real property with a monthly pay period and no specified end date. It can be terminated with proper notice, which varies by state.
Month-to-Month Rental Agreements by State
How do Month-to-Month Rental Agreements Work
Month-to-month rental agreements work in the following ways:
- It works just like a standard rental agreement, but a month-to-month lease agreement can be ended at any time and for any reason by either the landlord or tenant.
- A month-to-month rental agreement can be terminated without penalties by giving prior written notice to either party. (read more)
- In most states, landlords can increase the rent and change the lease terms after providing proper notice.
- If no changes are made, month-to-month rental agreements are automatically renewed at the beginning of each month.
A month-to-month rental agreement secures a tenancy for a short period of time, typically a month, where a fixed-term rental agreement secures a tenancy for a longer period of time, typically a year.
Pros & Cons of Month-to-Month Rental Agreements
Month-to-month rental agreements have their advantages and disadvantages. Below we will examine the pros and cons of having a month-to-month lease agreement for both landlords and tenants.
- Imply a rent increase at any time (with proper notice).
- In most states a landlord can terminate a month-to-month lease without a legal reason (as long as proper notice is provided).
- Easily change the terms of the lease (with proper notice).
- Keep quality tenants.
- Automatic lease renewal.
- No fixed end dates.
- Move out at any time (with proper notice).
- No penalty for breaking a lease early.
- Risk of high tenant turnover.
- The tenant can move out at any time (with proper notice).
- Costly expenses of tenant turnover (i.e., advertising, cleaning, repairs, etc.).
- Income insecurity if there is a vacant unit.
- The lease can be terminated, and the tenant must find new housing accommodations quickly.
- Rent can be increased frequently.
- Terms of the lease can be changed frequently.
- Frequent hard inquires on credit score (if a tenant chooses to seek short-term rental agreements).
Ultimately a month-to-month lease provides flexibility for both the landlord and tenant. Month-to-month agreements might be appealing to tenants who are students, people who travel frequently, those who don’t want to commit to a year lease, or are prospective buyers. Month-to-month agreements might be less appealing to those who want to be long-term renters.
Notice Requirement to Terminate Month-to-Month Leases
The table below outlines state-specific notice period requirements.
|State||Notice Period to End Month-to-Month Tenancy||Notice Period to End Week-to-Week Tenancy|
|Alabama||30 days||7 days|
|Alaska||30 days||14 days|
|Arizona||30 days||10 days|
|Arkansas||30 days||7 days|
|California||30 days (resided there less than 1 year);
or 60 days (resided there more than a year)
|Colorado||91 days (one year or longer);
28 days (6 months or longer but less than one year); or
21 days (one more or longer, but less than 6 months)
|Connecticut||3 days||3 days|
|Delaware||60 days||No Statute|
|Florida||15 days||7 days|
|Georgia||60 days from landlord; or
30 days from tenant
|Hawaii||45 days from landlord; or
28 days from tenant
|Idaho||1 month||No Statute|
|Illinois||30 days||7 days|
|Indiana||1 month||No Statute|
|Iowa||30 days||10 days|
|Kansas||30 days||7 days|
|Kentucky||30 days||7 days|
|Louisiana||10 days||5 days|
|Maine||30 days||30 days|
|Maryland||30 days||30 days|
|Massachusetts||30 days||30 days|
|Michigan||1 month||7 days|
|Minnesota||30 days||14 days|
|Mississippi||30 days||7 days|
|Missouri||30 days||No Statute|
|Montana||30 days||7 days|
|Nebraska||30 days||7 days|
|Nevada||30 days||7 days|
|New Hampshire||30 days||7 days|
|New Jersey||1 month||No Statute|
|New Mexico||30 days||7 days|
|New York||30 days (if property is located outside of New York City)
30 days (if the tenancy is less than a term of one year and property is inside New York City)
60 days (for tenancies more than one year but less than two years and property is inside New York City )
90 days (for tenancies more than two years and property is inside New York City)
|North Carolina||7 days||2 days|
|North Dakota||30 days||7 days|
|Ohio||30 days||7 days|
|Oklahoma||30 days||7 days|
|Oregon||30 days||No Statute|
|Pennsylvania||30 days (tenancy more than one year); or
15 days (tenancy less than one year)
|Rhode Island||30 days||10 days|
|South Carolina||30 days||7 days|
|South Dakota||30 days from the landlord; or
15 days from the tenant
|Tennessee||30 days||10 days|
|Texas||1 month||7 days|
|Utah||15 calendar days||No Statute|
|Vermont||60 days (tenancy less than two years); or
90 days (tenancy more than two years)
|Virginia||30 days||7 days|
|Washington||20 days||No Statute|
|Washington D.C.||30 days||No Statute|
|West Virginia||1 month||7 days|
|Wisconsin||28 days||5 days|
|Wyoming||No Statute||No Statute|
How to Write a Month-to-Month Rental Agreement
Below we will go through the steps on how to write a month-to-month rental agreement.
1. Insert the date the agreement is entered into.
2. Add the landlord’s full name.
3. Add the tenant(s) full name(s). Name each person that will reside at the rental property.
4. Insert the complete address of the property the landlord will be renting to the tenant.
5. Add the date that the lease term will begin. This section defines that this will be a month-to-month agreement.
6. Distinguish the number of days the landlord or tenant must provide written notice of non-renewal of the lease.
7. Landlords must receive written notice of the non-renewal of the lease. Indicate how many days the tenant must notify the landlord prior to the last day of the month.
8. Indicate the number of days the tenant must provide the landlord with notice before they forfeit their full deposit amount.
9. This section outlines the monthly rent payment and due date. Enter the exact amount of money the tenant must pay in rent for one month.
10. Write the address of where the funds should be deposited/delivered.
V. Security Deposit.
11. If the landlord is collecting a security deposit, insert the exact amount the tenant must pay. This section outlines the terms of the security deposit.
VI. Late Charges.
12. In most states, landlords have the right to charge for late rent. If rent is not collected by the indicated date on the lease agreement, the landlord has the right to notify the tenant that that there will be a late charge. Indicate the date of when a late charge will be applied and the amount that will be charged until full payment is received.
13. Write the day of the month rent is due and if rent is not received by that date, the tenant will be in breach of the lease agreement.
VII. Insufficient Funds.
14. If the tenant provides a check to the landlord and there are insufficient funds, the landlord shall indicate the amount they will charge for each check that is returned.
15. Indicate how many people may reside at the rental property for the duration of the lease without the prior consent of the landlord.
16. The landlord should check either “shall” or “shall not” to indicate if the tenant may sublease the property under this lease agreement.
X. Right of Entry.
17. The landlord has the right to enter the premises under certain conditions (i.e., make repairs, show the property to prospective buyers, etc.). Indicate how many hours of prior notice a landlord shall give the tenant before entering the premises.
XI. Non-Delivery of Possession.
18. If the landlord cannot deliver possession of the property to the tenant at the date specified as the beginning of the lease term, the landlord must indicate how many days they have to give possession of the property to the tenant. If the landlord cannot deliver the possession of the property to the tenant in that timeframe, the agreement shall terminate.
19. List any utilities and services the landlord will provide to the tenant. Any utility or service that is not listed will be the responsibility of the tenant.
20. If the landlord allows pets on the premises, the landlord has the right to charge an additional pet security deposit. Write the exact amount of how much the landlord will charge for a pet security deposit. Note, under federal law, a landlord cannot charge a security deposit for a service animal.
21. If the tenant fails to comply with the provisions of this lease agreement, the landlord can terminate the lease agreement. Write the number of days a landlord must provide written notice to the tenant to terminate the month-to-month agreement.
22. If a tenant fails to pay rent, indicate the number of days that the landlord will provide a grace period, if applicable. If the tenant does not pay rent within the grace period, the landlord may terminate the lease agreement.
23. If the tenant abandons the property, the landlord may terminate the lease agreement. Write the number of consecutive days a tenant is considered to have “abandoned” the property without providing notice to the landlord.
24. If the tenant has abandoned the property and is late on rent, write the number of consecutive days that rent is considered as outstanding, and the landlord can regain possession of the property.
25. Write the complete address of where the tenant shall deliver notices.
26. Indicate if parking is or is not included under the lease agreement by checking the appropriate box. If it is included, write how may parking spaces are provided to the tenant in the blank spot, the amount that is due and check the box of when the parking fee should be paid, either “paid at the execution” of the agreement or “on a monthly basis in addition to the rent.”
27. Describe the parking space location in detail in the space provided.
XVII. Smoking Policy.
28. Indicate if smoking on the premises is permitted or prohibited. If it is permitted then write where the tenant may smoke on the property.
XIX. Additional Terms and Conditions.
29. If there are any additional terms or conditions the landlord wants to include, write them in detail here.
30. The landlord should sign, date and print their name to make this document enforceable.
31. The tenant(s) should sign, date and print their name(s) to make this document enforceable.