Written By Jennifer Wilson

A Holdover tenant is a tenant who does not renew their lease or move out when the lease expires but continues to pay their rent. The landlord continues to accept the payments and the tenant continues to occupy the residence. If the landlord does not accept the payment, the tenant now becomes a trespasser.

So what are the Handover tenants rights? The legal status of a holdover tenant who occupies a property with the consent of the landlord after the lease has expired is called tenancy at will. If the landlord has not accepted lease payments after the lease expiration but has not done anything to protest the presence of the trespasser, the tenant’s status may be that of Tenancy at sufferance. This means that the tenant does not have genuine approval to remain in the property, but there has not been an official objection in the form of an attempt to evict.

Once the landlord has accepted even one rent payment from a holdover tenant, the only way to remove that tenant is to initiate a holdover hearing. Essentially this is an eviction hearing that does not claim that the tenant is behind in rent payments. Every state has its own legal requirements and process for evicting holdover tenants as trespassers.

The best way to prevent a holdover tenant is to put in place a lease that is very clear about what happens at the end of the lease period. If you are utilizing a property management company firm, they can provide guidance on preventing a holdover tenant. Always seeks legal council when trying to start the eviction process.


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