Hold over tenant

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Hold over tenant
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Hold over tenant is a tenant, who continues being in rented flat, after the tenancy agreement terminates. Hold over tenancy is also known under the term tenancy at sufferance. When the tenancy expires, the tenant is obligated to give up the premises without any proclamation from the landlord. In case, the tenant does not vacate, the property owner is allowed to dislodge the tenant. It is also possible, that the landlord decides no to dislodge the tenant. In that case, the right of the tenant holding over is determined by the lease provisions, common law principles and statutory provisions[1]. The tenancy at sufferance happens when[2]:

  • the renter persists in the property after the expiration of rental agreement,
  • the property owner declines to obtain further payments from the tenant.

Courts decisions

The courts commonly hold, that a holding over tenant is allowed to remain in the property for the period equal to the original lease, as long as the term of rent is one year long or less. In most cases, the courts decisions ruled that a holdover tenancy cannot persist longer than one year. In relation to that, if the rental agreement was contained for half year, and holdover tenancy occurred, the court may consider a holdover tenancy for an equal period of time, which is in this case - half a year. Nonetheless, if a rental agreement was contained for two years, the holdover tenancy would not be able to exceed one year[3].

Difference between hold over tenant and month-to-month tenant

As said before, the hold over tenant is a tenant who remains in possession of the property after expiration of the rental agreement without acquiescence of the landlord. Mostly it is a malevolent occupancy, as the renter refuses to leave to property after termination of the rental period. On the other side stands month-to-month tenancy, which happens, when a resident is in ownership of the property without any defined before termination date and the renter pays the rent on a monthly basis[4].


  1. Rose J. G. (1973), p. 21.
  2. Crane F. (2007), p. 304
  3. Nance C. P. (2003), p. 491
  4. Lank E., Deickler J., Lippman W. J. (2001), p. 111.


Author: Michał Sznurkowski