man signing an agreement

What Should I Know About Fixed-Term & Month-to-Month Leases?

When you are renting a space, whether it’s an apartment or a retail location, you have to have some kind of lease agreement. Sometimes these are more formal, fixed-term leases that last a certain amount of time. You could also be on a month-to-month lease, meaning that you are not locked into renting for any specific period. No matter what kind of lease you are party to, you need to protect your rights as a renter. A New York City residential lease dispute lawyer from our firm can help you if you need assistance.

What Are the Differences Between Fixed-Term and Month-to-Month Leases?

The key difference between these types of leases is how long a tenant must continue renting a property. If you try to leave when you have a fixed-term lease, you are likely to face consequences. You could lose your security deposit and end up on the hook for other fees. You could even be forced to pay the rest of the rent that you would have paid if you had stayed for the entire lease term.

A month-to-month lease essentially gets renewed each month as the landlord and tenant decide to keep this agreement going. It does not offer long-term security and the terms can change, provided that ample notice is given.

How Long Does a Fixed-Term Lease Last?

A fixed-term lease is usually for one or two years if we’re talking about residential leases. Commercial leases tend to last longer. When you have a fixed-term lease, certain parameters are all laid out for you. Your lease should tell you:

  • Who is a party to the lease
  • How much your rent is
  • When and where to make your rent payment
  • How much your security deposit is

When you sign a fixed-term lease, you and the landlord are agreeing not to change the terms of your agreement for that amount of time. So the landlord cannot change the rent on you, but you also cannot easily move if you suddenly change your mind about living there.

Are There Any Advantages to Month-to-Month Leases?

In a month-to-month lease, you can just move out if you want to. Give your landlord 30 days notice and you can go somewhere else without having to worry about paying excess fees. This flexibility can be valuable to some renters.

However, this type of agreement can also be changed by your landlord. As long as they give you enough notice, they can tell you that your lease will not be renewed or that your rent is going to increase significantly.

If you do have a month-to-month lease, you may want an agreement in writing. Sometimes these leases can be less formal, especially when you are renting an apartment and a previous fixed-term lease has expired. An agreement that offers details like rent amount and necessary notice periods for changes to your lease can be valuable.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you need help from an experienced tenants’ rights attorney, contact Robert Rosenblatt & Associates. We can help you protect your rights and address any lease-related issues. Schedule a consultation today.

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