Tenancy At Sufferance: What Is Tenancy At Sufferance? How Does It Work?
by Shahnawaz Alam Real Estate 29 September 2023
Tenancy at sufferance!
Only some of the problems related to leasing properties occur to a tenant. Landlords often have to go through different issues that might put their property at risk. It can also lead them to lose potential lessees. Tenancy at suffering is one of those situations.
In this case, the tenant overstays in the property after their rental period or the lease agreement has been over. However, they keep staying on the property without the landlord’s consent. Also, the landlords are stuck in this situation since they do not have the eviction notice yet.
In most cases, the renters usually pay the same rent as in their lease agreement. However, there are many instances where the renters use the property post their lease agreement without paying any rent. Different states in the US have different rules for this.
Read this article to understand tenancy at suffering and how to tackle these situations.
What Is Tenancy At Sufferance?
When leasing a property, the lessee and a lessor enter a lease agreement. This agreement allows the lessee to use the property for the specified term in the contract. The time could be for six months or a year or two. The lease agreement also has conditions regarding the renewal of the agreement and its termination.
If the agreement lists the termination of the lease, then the lessee needs to vacate the property. However, some lessees or tenants stay in the property even after the agreement expires. The lessee needs to discuss the new possible terms of an agreement with the landlord.
If the landlord agrees, they can sign a new lease agreement with the tenant. They can also sign a month-to-month lease agreement. But, if the tenant keeps using the rental property after the expiry of the lease agreement, the situation is called tenancy at sufferance.
Usually, this should not occur if the landlord has given the renter a late rent notice in time. However, if they have given the renter a late notice without the renters paying attention, the landlord can proceed with the eviction process.
Tenants suffering don’t enjoy the same legal rights as the other renters. Also, the rules can change for such tenants in different states. In some states in the US, the tenants can be evicted without any prior notice.
States like Virginia have other rules for such tenants, given that they are maintaining specific conditions. Tenants who maintain and pay rent for the property (even after the end of the lease agreement) are not seen as tenants suffering.
- Tenancy at sufferance happens when a lawful tenant keeps occupying the property after their lease expires.
- A landlord needs to give their tenants notices with information about their unwillingness to renew the lease. The amount of notice depends on the state someone lives in.
- Tenants who are suffering can keep enjoying some of their tenant rights. But it will still depend on the state they live in. Different US states have different laws and rules imposed for tenancy at sufferance.
How Does Tenancy At Sufferance Work?
Different circumstances can lead to a tenancy at sufferance. Some of them can include eviction proceedings. In most of the cases, the property lease expires, but the tenant still keeps on occupying the property and its premises. So, they do not let the landlord or the new occupants use the property in this situation.
The landlord cannot also accept rent from the tenant during this situation because that would mean extending the rental notice.
So, the last option for the landlord is to resort to the eviction process. The eviction process needs some time to come into effect, and the tenants must comply with the rental agreement during this period of time. Usually, the eviction process takes a specific span of time based on the state’s jurisdiction. In most cases, it takes several months.
In some cases, the landlord can also want to buy out the owner. They would want to do so to see the lessee leave the property. But, if the tenant accepts such a buy, then the tenancy at sufferance will end. Eventually, the tenant would have to vacate the premises.
What Does Tenancy At Sufferance Mean To A Tenant?
Tenancy at sufferance can mean different things to both a landlord and a tenant. If you are a tenant, then the tenancy at suffering means something different to you than what it means to a landlord.
As a tenant, you may have to deal with the situation of tenancy suffering with awareness of the situation or unknowingly.
If you are deliberately staying in the property without the tenant’s consent after the lease agreement ends, you will become a tenant at sufferance. On the other side, you can become a tenant at sufferance unknowingly if the lease agreement expires without any notice from the landlord. In this case, you are what they call a defacto tenant at sufferance.
What Does Tenancy At Sufferance Mean To A Landlord?
Landlords also find that tenancy suffering is a very critical condition. Especially if they are trying to sell their property or they want to occupy the property themselves.
But they also have to fulfill their legal obligations since the tenants at sufferance entered the property through legal means. But the landlords can start with the eviction process, which might take them some time. However, if a landlord is dealing with a very stubborn tenant, they can proceed to file an unlawful detainer action.
If you are a landlord or a tenant, it is important for you to know what tenant at sufferance is and how it works. Most importantly, if you are a tenant and want to convert this situation to a type of tenancy, there is still some chance for you to avoid eviction. However, you need your landlord to comply with you for that. You can ask the landlord to start a month-to-month lease agreement. Or, if the landlord accepts rent for another month, it will result in tenancy at will.
Now that you understand what tenancy at suffering means, you can use it to avoid similar situations. Please let us know if you have any queries related to this topic. Thank you for reading.