What is the difference between a lease and a month-to-month rental agreement?

Asked by Trulia Miami, Miami, FL Tue Apr 9, 2013

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Steven Epste…, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Wed Apr 10, 2013
A Lease is for a fixed period of time, 1 month, 6 mos, 10 mos, 1 Yr, 3yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs etc ... a finite period of time, start & finish. A month-to-month tenancy in Fla is a tenancy without a specific duration but continuing monthly until either party may terminate the rental agreement with at least 15-days notice prior to the end of any monthly period in which that noticing party wishes to terminate the month-to-month rental. Trust this makes sense, if not ask an attorney familiar with this.
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Rosa M. Medr…, Agent, Miami, FL
Thu Apr 11, 2013
A rental agreement provides for a tenancy of a short period (often 30 days) that is automatically renewed at the end of the period unless the tenant or landlord ends it by giving written notice. For these month-to-month rentals, the landlord can change the terms of the agreement with proper written notice.

A written lease, on the other hand, gives a renter the right to occupy a rental unit for a set term -- most often for six months or a year but sometimes longer -- as long as the tenant pays the rent and complies with other lease provisions. The landlord cannot raise the rent or change other terms of the tenancy during the lease, unless the tenant agrees.

Unlike a rental agreement, when a lease expires it does not usually automatically renew itself. A tenant who stays on with the landlord's consent after a lease ends becomes a month-to-month tenant, subject to the rental terms that were in the lease.

Hope this helps.
Web Reference: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia
1 vote
Fred Afif, Agent, Miami Beach, FL
Tue Apr 9, 2013
A lease is an agreement between tenant and landlord for a set period of time normally 6 months to year. If the lease is in breach by tenant or landlord; either side may sue for financial costs. A month to month agreement normally ocurres at the end of the lease when both parties agree to go month to month giving one month notice before move out by the tenant. A month to month is essentially month to month contract in which the tenant has the option to move out at will with notice.
0 votes
Yanoska Diaz, Agent, Miami, FL
Tue Apr 9, 2013
Month to month is exactly that, you do not have a contract for more than one month's period. The fact that you are renting month to month does not necessarily exempt you from contracting with the Landlord, the only significant difference in my opinion, is that if you brake the agreement on the 3rd month of a 12 months lease you will still owe the Landlord the remaining months. This easily translate to a judgement against you if the Landlord pursues legal action.
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Cassandra M.…, Agent, Canton, GA
Tue Apr 9, 2013
Typically a lease is for a set price and time (For example $1000 a month for 12 months) and would require notice to move out and penalties for early cancellation to either party.

Whereas month to month is where either party can cancel the agreement with a 30 day written notice.

You will most often see the rental start off as a "Lease" and at the end if neither party gives notice, it automatically goes to a month to month.

Rarely will it start month to month unless someone is doing a roommate situation, renting a basement/garage or if someone is just looking for short term as in when a house is for sale.

Hope this helps,

Cassandra Bickel, REALTOR
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