Tenancy At Sufferance Definition & Examples

Tenancy At Sufferance Definition & Examples

Tenancy At Sufferance Definition & Examples

Tenancy At Sufferance Definition

Tenancy at sufferance is a legal circumstance that occurs when a property renter continues to occupy a property after their lease term has expired. Unlike a trespasser, the original entry of a tenant at sufferance was lawful, but their continued tenancy exists without the landlord’s consent or dissent.

It’s essentially a holdover tenancy, where the tenant remains in possession of the property without an ongoing lease agreement and without the landlord’s permission. The tenant is essentially a “holdover tenant.”

The tenancy is called “at sufferance” because the landlord is not obligated to continue the arrangement and can evict the tenant at any time without notice. The tenant has no legal right to possession but is allowed to stay at the landlord’s discretion or “sufferance.”

A tenancy at sufferance creates a landlord-tenant relationship, but there is no set rental term so it is deemed a month-to-month tenancy. The landlord can increase rent or change lease terms with proper notice (usually 30 days).

The tenant is responsible for paying fair market rent during the holdover period. They may also be liable for any damages if they fail to vacate after proper notice from the landlord.

To end the tenancy, the landlord must serve the tenant with a notice to quit, giving them a deadline to vacate the property. This is usually a 30-day notice but may vary by state.

If the tenant does not leave after receiving lawful notice, the landlord can file for eviction. Tenants at sufferance have no right to contest the eviction since they are occupying the property unlawfully beyond the lease term.

A tenancy at sufferance provides some protections for holdover tenants but significantly favors the landlord’s rights and ability to regain possession of the property. Proper notices must be followed to terminate the tenancy.

Tenancy At Sufferance Example:

A tenancy at sufferance arises when a tenant remains on a property after their lawful right to possession has ended. The landlord gains the legal right to evict them without any notice requirement.

Here are some examples of tenancy at sufferance:

  • John’s 1-year lease on an apartment ended on June 30th, but he continued living there and paying rent after the lease expired. Since John stayed in the unit after his right to possession ended, he became a tenant at sufferance. The landlord can evict him without notice.
  • Jane rented a house for 2 years under a written lease agreement. After the lease ended, Jane stayed in the home and kept paying rent month-to-month without signing a new lease. Since Jane remained in the property after her lawful right to possession ended, she is considered a tenant at sufferance. The landlord can end her tenancy anytime without notice.
  • Mike leased office space for his company for 5 years. After the lease term ended, Mike continued occupying the office and paying rent while negotiating a new long-term lease. In the interim period before signing a new lease, Mike is a tenant at sufferance since he stayed past the original lease term. The landlord can evict him without notice.
  • Emily’s residential lease says it converts to a month-to-month tenancy after the 1-year term ends. Emily stayed 2 months after the lease expired before moving out. Since the lease provided for an ongoing month-to-month tenancy, Emily was not a tenant at sufferance when holding over those 2 months. A new notice period applied instead of the landlord having the right to evict immediately.

Estate At Sufferance: Understand The Concept Of Estate At Sufferance.

An estate at sufferance is a legal concept that describes a temporary possessory interest in real property. It arises when someone occupies or possesses property without any current legal right to do so.

In essence, an estate at sufferance describes the lack of legal rights held by someone wrongfully occupying or possessing property of another. It is a temporary interest that can end abruptly at any time.

Some key characteristics of an estate at sufferance:

  • It arises after a prior legal right to occupancy has ended. For example, if a tenant remains on the property after their lease expires, they become a tenant at sufferance.
  • The occupant is technically trespassing, but the property owner has not yet taken action to remove them. Their original entry was lawful.
  • It is a very limited interest – the occupant can be evicted at any time without notice. No notice is required to terminate the estate at sufferance.
  • No landlord-tenant relationship exists anymore between the parties. The occupant has no continuing right to possession.
  • The occupant is required to pay fair market rent for the time they occupy the property unlawfully.
  • Continued occupation is based on the property owner’s sufferance or tolerance. The occupant remains at the mercy or discretion of the rightful owner.


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