Free Month-to-Month Rental Agreement Template
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.
This type of lease/rental agreement grants a renter tenancy on a per month basis, unlike a long-term residential lease agreement, which typically lasts for at least one year.
A month-to-month rental agreement will include all of the following:
- Premises: the location of the apartment, house, or room for rent
- Landlord: the owner or manager of the Premises, also referred to as the “Lessor”
- Tenant: the person(s) agreeing to rent the Premises, also referred to as the “Lessee”
- Rent: the monthly amount owed to the Landlord by the Tenant
- Eviction Notice: the length of time in which the Landlord must provide advanced notice to the Tenant before terminating the lease agreement
Reasons to Sign a Month-to-Month Lease
There are a few instances when it makes sense to sign a month-to-month lease. Below are common reasons to consider a month-to-month lease.
- You are a student and will only live in the area for 9 months
- You expect a big life change, like a career move, a child, or marriage, in the next 12 months
- You are new to a city and do not know where you want to live yet so desire flexibility in your living situation at the start
- You plan to buy a home soon
- You travel frequently for work and often move cities
- You have a roommate that can’t commit to a 12-month lease
Month-to-Month Rental Agreement: Pros and Cons
Month-to-month rental agreements come with a fair share of pros and cons for both tenants and landlords. Let’s take a look at the top pros and cons for each party:
- Flexibility for tenants who may have taken a temporary job, working in an area on contract for a period of time, or for those who are not ready to make a year-long commitment.
- Tenants can typically move to a longer, fixed-term lease when available.
- Tenants can end their lease in 30 days without penalty.
- Flexibility for landlords who may have a difficult tenant or one that has damaged the property or is frequently late with their payments.
- Rent Increase Flexibility
- Higher Rent Prices
- Possibility Of Fluctuating Rent Prices
- Possibility Of An Unexpected Lease End
- Tenant Turnover
- Increased Risk of Vacancy
- Possibility Of An Unexpected Lease End
Here is a breakdown of when you can legally evict a tenant:
- Non-payment of rent: in this scenario a landlord must initiate a formal eviction process whether the tenant is in a MTM or long-term lease.
- Property Damage: Both MTMs and long-term leases have language that permits eviction in the event the property is damaged.
- Criminal/Police Issues: Most courts accept a police report as a valid reason for eviction.
- Neighbor conflict: if your tenant’s actions prompt a neighbor to call the police, and they have a valid reason for doing so, the landlord often has the ability to evict, regardless of the lease term.
Frequently Asked Questions About Month-to-Month Leases
1. Can landlords raise the rent on month-to-month leases?
Typically a landlord can raise your rent to market rate with a 30-day notice if you are on a month-to-month lease. Some cities have rent control, and if you live in a rent-controlled building your landlord cannot increase your rent more than a certain percentage annually.
2. Does a month-to-month lease need to be signed every month?
No, month-to-month leases automatically renew every month until one party legally terminates the lease.
3. Are month-to-month leases more expensive?
Normally month-to-month leases are more expensive than a long-term lease. This is because a landlord takes on the uncertainty of when a renter will leave. In exchange for flexibility, the landlord will charge more.
4. How much notice do I need to give to end my month-to-month lease?
Most month-to-month leases require a 30-day notice for termination. However, keep in mind, if you give a 30-day notice in the middle of the month, you may be required to pay for the entire next month of rent. Make sure to read your lease agreement to best understand how to end your month-to-month lease.
5. How much notice does my landlord need to give me to end my month-to-month lease?
The amount of time a landlord is legally required to give a tenant to end a month-to-month lease varies by state. Some states only require 1 to 2 weeks, others require 30, 60 or 90 days. Make sure to read your lease agreement carefully and discuss it upfront with your landlord.