How Long Can a Tenant Stay After the Lease Expires?

A holdover tenant is a common term used for a renter who remains in a property after the lease expires. This can be a hassle for you to deal with them; that’s why it is essential to know which law you can use as tenant laws vary from state to state. The question is, how long can a renter be after the lease expires?

This answer to this question fluctuates in different situations because the actual and legal answers are entirely different from each other. If the lease expires and the tenant refuses to leave the house, they become the holdover tenant, and you can take legal action against them.  That’s why it is essential to check in with your renters about 60 days before the lease expires, whether they want to renew the contract or want to move out.

Holdover tenancy holds a gray line between trespassing and an entire rental contract tenant. It is essential to sign a contract because a single-line agreement can offer more protection to all parties and should be considered. 

This article contains all the key points that can help you deal with the tenant that stays after the lease expires. So, read on.


What to do in Such a Situation?

You can deal with the holdover tenant situation in a couple of ways. Some of them are given below.

  • Treat the Renter as a Trespasser and Evict Them

You have a legal right to evict a tenant if they are not paying the rent, have criminal behavior such as domestic violence or drugs. In most states, holdover tenants are treated as a month-to-month pay renters. So, a 30-day notice of eviction was given to the tenant by their landlord.

  • Let the Tenant Stay

You won’t evict the tenant after the lease expires, and you continue to collect monthly rent from the renter and permit them to stay in the unit.

  • Consult with the Professional

In such a case where they did not pay the rent and violated the lease, you can take legal action against them. If they want to stay even after the lease expires, talk to them and sign an agreement based on month-to-month rent. 

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Most states bond the landlords with laws, but there are also some ways to get rid of tenants without evicting them but not violating any holdover laws. For this purpose, it is advised to consult with an experienced attorney to make sure that your actions are legally compliant.

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Potential Issues due to Holdover Tenants

Landlords can face several issues when the tenant stay in the rental unit even after the lease expires, such as:

  • The landlord has no control over a vacancy because it may be tough to get rid of a holdover tenant. It is difficult for the landlord to find a new renter and sign a lease when the holdover tenant moves out without any notice.
  • Different states have different eviction processes and laws, so make sure to check your state laws to avoid getting any complaints from your local jurisdiction.
  • The maintenance scheduled on the date of lease expiration and moving out of tenants may need to be postponed. 
  • The landlord also faces property damage because the tenants are residing in the rental without any contract.
  • If you are a landlord, you cannot raise the rent for as long as the tenant stays because of the restrictions regarding holdover tenants. 
  • In some states, holdover tenants occupy the rental unit and pay rent with any formal or legal rental agreement that makes the eviction process harder since they no longer consider themselves to commit trespassing.