At Shaia's Law, PLLC, we represent Landlords and Tenants. Our goal, is to create a series of short blog posts with information that's important for Landlords and Tenants to know. This is our second blog post in this series. Please read our last blog post to learn about the Statement of Tenant's Rights and Responsibilities.
Today's topic is on Month to Month Tenancies.
How do you know if you have a month to month tenancy?
Read your lease! This is the first place you should go for all of your questions. If you have a written lease, it will state if it is yearly, monthly, or weekly. Additionally, your lease will normally state what happens when the lease ends. Some leases will renew automatically for another year. Other leases will renew as month to month leases.
If you don't have a written lease, then your lease likely falls under Virginia Code Section § 55.1-1204 (C). To make sure your lease falls under this code section, you should speak with an attorney. If your lease does follow § 55.1-1204 (C), then you have a twelve month lease, and after that time period, your lease can renew to a month to month lease.
What is the difference between a month to month lease and yearly lease?
The difference between these two types of leases is how long you have a legal right to the property. For a yearly lease, you have a legal right to possess the property for 12 months, as long as you don't breach the contract.
For a month to month tenancy, you only have the right to the property for one month.
This difference is really important because it effects how the lease can be terminated.
How can a month to month lease be terminated?
A month to month lease can be terminated by either party by giving 30 days written notice before the next date that rent is due. (See Virginia Code Section § 55.1-1253). What this means, is that either party may terminate a month to month tenancy for any reason, as long as they provide 30 days written notice.
If a Tenant has been given proper 30 days notice that the month to month tenancy is ending, and fails to leave, then the Landlord can file an unlawful detainer action to evict the Tenant.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 804-477-4972. All consults are free of charge.