HOLDOVER TENANT: When Should You Evict a Holdover Tenant

Holdover Tenant

A holdover tenant is a tenant who continues to occupy a rental unit after the lease term has ended. Holdover tenants can legally occupy the property for as long as the landlord accepts rent payments and state laws and court judgments govern the length of the new rental term for the holdover tenant. You should know a few things about the term “holdover tenant,” like what their rights are, How it works in Texas, and how to evict them if need be.

Tenants are evicted if the landlord refuses to accept future rent payments, and if they don’t immediately leave, an eviction may be necessary. A comprehensive explanation of holdover tenants will be provided in this article. Continue reading to learn more.

Understanding Holdover Tenants

To safeguard their assets and interests, landlords who don’t want to make the error of having a holdover tenant should always include language in the initial contract outlining what occurs after the lease term.

For instance, a year-long apartment lease may state that it will change to a month-to-month arrangement when it expires.

The consequences of accepting rent from a holdover renter depend on state and local regulations. Accepting payment in some situations causes the lease term to reset.

For instance, if the initial lease was for a year, the moment the landlord takes rent after the initial lease has ended, a new year-long lease will begin. In other cases, a month-to-month contract is made when a holdover renter pays for the next month.

The landlord must commence a holdover procedure to remove a tenant even if the rent is late. Most of the time, this process takes place in small claims or eviction courts.

Holdover Tenant Causes

A landlord could find themselves with a holdover renter for a variety of reasons. They may consist of:

  • A tenant’s blatant reluctance to vacate the property for any reason, even a medical emergency or the lack of alternative housing, is secured.
  • The landlord has chosen not to renew the lease.
  • If the property’s ownership changes, a holdover tenant may be created temporarily.

Are there remedies?

The landlord might not be concerned about developing a holdover tenant scenario in a number of circumstances. In rare cases, when a new owner buys a house, a holdover tenant may stay on. The new owner can either offer a new lease or start the eviction process.

The matter is automatically resolved if the renter accepts the revised lease terms, which may include higher rent. The new lease conditions should include a month-to-month lease that allows the owner to evict the renter easily.

The owner will likely issue a notice to cure if the renter refuses to sign the lease. When a holdout tenant’s lease is up, they will receive notification, and if they want to stay, they will have to sign a new one.

The renter now has the option to depart if they object to the terms of the new lease. If they don’t, the owner will tell the renter that eviction-like holdover proceedings will begin. Even at this stage, an unconcerned renter will receive a notice of termination.

In many jurisdictions, the notice of termination is a prerequisite to starting the eviction process. This letter should state the reason for termination when you must leave, and legal action if you don’t comply.

Is There Such Thing as Holdover Tenant Rights?

Tenants with a holdover lease have a lease at sufferance. Tenancy at sufferance is the opposite of tenancy-at-will, which is when a tenant occupies the property with the owner’s consent but typically without a written contract or lease. Tenancy at sufferance means the absence of objection without genuine approval.

Contrarily, tenancy under sufferance is a term for renters whose lease has ended but who haven’t been kicked out yet.

Although this is governed by the state and may vary from state to state, a landlord must provide a notice of termination when evicting a holdover tenant. The notice initiates the holdover procedure. In New York State, the following situations require the serving of a notice of termination:

  • Although your lease is up, the owner or landlord has already collected rent from you.
  • You pay rent each month even though there is no documented lease.
  • Even though your lease hasn’t yet expired, the landlord or owner wants to evict you.
  • You occupy a regulated rental property.
  • You receive a Section 8 subsidy.
  • Your lease stipulates this.

What Are a Landlord’s Options for Holdover Tenants?

Holdover renters only provide landlords two choices: either let the tenant stay every month or evict the tenant. Let’s go through both of these choices in more detail.

#1. Letting the Tenant Stay

Option one is to allow the tenant to remain on the property and take payments as they come in. To keep the tenant on your property, you have to accept payments after the lease has expired. Month-to-month rentals are common in leases, and they begin when the lease expires.

Consult an attorney if you have any questions regarding what will happen when the lease expires so that both you and the renter are on the same page and there is no ambiguity. You can sue the tenant here if they don’t pay the rent and you don’t want them to leave.

#2. Evicting the Tenant

You can evict your tenant if you don’t want them there. We don’t recommend that you try to evict tenants on your own, even though they do have certain rights, as we’ve already explained. The tenant may file a harassment lawsuit against you if you don’t follow the right procedure.

Here’s how to evict a tenant whose lease has expired but who refuses to leave:

Talk to the Tenant

Talking to the tenant and informing them of your decision should be the first step. If the tenant owes you money, they may agree to leave and clear their outstanding debts.

Do Not Accept Further Payments

It is time to begin the eviction process if you and the renter have failed to come to a resolution. The first step in terminating a lease is refusing to take any future rent payments from the tenants.

This will constitute the tenant as a trespasser on your land because you are not collecting any rent. If the problem persists, you should do the following.

Send a Written Notice

After you have gained an understanding of what constitutes holdover rent and have ceased to accept it, the next step is to provide the tenant with a notice of termination of their tenancy. In many places, it is required that the notice be delivered at least 30 days in advance of the date when the tenant will be evicted to give them time to find a new home and evacuate the property.

Filing a Written Complaint

You need to submit a written complaint to the District Court in the place where your property is located to initiate a holdover process if the tenant has not yet moved out of the rental property. You can accomplish this by submitting Form DC-DV-080.

Follow Court Procedures

After that, the court will send a summons to both you and the renter, directing you both to appear on a specific date. The hearing will be rescheduled for the following week if any of the parties fail to show up. You and the holdover tenant will each get an opportunity to argue your side of the argument in front of the judge.

If the court rules in your favor, the renter will be given a deadline to leave. If the tenant doesn’t leave the property, you have to call the authorities again. Do not try to take matters into your own hands by attempting to evict the tenant by coercion.

How Long Does It Take To Evict a Holdover Tenant?

The process and how long it takes to evict a holdover tenant can become very taxing, particularly if the tenant in question has a holdover from the prior lease. If a tenant plans to stay past the end of their lease, they may become belligerent when they get an eviction notice. On the other hand, a landlord can break the law by issuing an unlawful eviction notice. In situations like this, it is frequently necessary to take legal action.

Evicting a Holdover Tenant

A landlord may decide to evict a tenant if they fail to meet their obligations under a holdover agreement. In addition, they may desire to remove any tenants who have not been granted permission to extend their lease.

The landlord of a holdover tenant must serve a notice of eviction in the same manner as a normal lease termination. There are two types of notices landlords must provide renters in the event they fail to pay their rent or violate their lease agreement: three days for non-payment, and seven days for violations.

Holdover tenants are subject to the same rules. On the other hand, its renters are exempt from these regulations because they are occupying a lease without the permission of their landlord.

Holdover Tenant Texas

In Texas, to evict a holdover tenant necessitates the use of specific legal procedures.

It is the dream of any landlord to have long-term, well-behaved tenants. Tenants that pay on time, take care of the property, and renew their leases are good.

The ideal landlord-tenant relationship is not an easy one to achieve. In Texas, there are few things landlords hate more than having to deal with evictions. The process of evicting a tenant may be time-consuming, expensive, and upsetting all at the same time.

Illegal Evictions in Texas

In the state of Texas, a landlord can’t try to get rid of his/her holdover tenant on his or her own. You can’t do any of the following:

  • Limit your tenant’s ability to utilize the property’s features (for example, by blocking access to their reserved parking space).
  • Ignoring the recent repair demands of your rental property renter
  • It’s against the law to slander or libel your tenant (by spreading false rumors about them to other renters).
  • Using threats or orders to get rid of a renter
  • Turn off the utilities for your rental (for example, phone service, electricity, gas, water, or heat).
  • Renting a storage facility for your renter’s belongings
  • Evicting your tenant from the premises

In Texas, the only option to evict a renter(holdover tenant) is to follow the state’s rental statute. To evict a tenant, you must go through this procedure by the law. There are, of course, times when an eviction is necessary.

Notice of Termination For Cause

If a holdover tenant in Texas fails to pay rent or breaks the terms of the rental agreement, the landlord may end the tenancy early (for example, by having a dog when none are allowed or continually throwing loud parties).

Unless the lease or rental agreement specifies a shorter or longer notice period, the landlord must provide the tenant with a three-day notice to quit before bringing an eviction lawsuit. The tenant is not required to have the choice of fixing the infraction or paying the rent by the landlord.

A forcible detainer lawsuit, also known as an eviction case, can be filed by the landlord with the court if the tenant does not vacate the rental unit by the conclusion of the three-day notice period. 24.005 (2021) of the Texas Property Code.

Notice of Termination Without Cause

Depending on whether a tenancy is month-to-month (under the terms of a rental agreement) or for a fixed term, there are different procedures for canceling it without cause (under a lease).

Terminating a Month-to-Month Tenancy Without Cause

How much notice a Texas landlord needs to end a month-to-month tenancy depends on how often the renter pays.

If the rent is only paid once a month, the lease expires on the later of the day specified in the notice of termination and one month after that date.

The tenancy terminates on the later of the day specified in the notice of termination or the day after the number of days equal to how frequently the renter pays rent if the tenant pays rent more frequently than once per month. For instance, if the rent is paid every 20 days, the landlord is required to provide a 20-day notice period, which begins the day after the notice is delivered.

This notice must include the end date of the tenancy and the deadline by which the tenant must vacate the rented property. Texas Property Code Section 91.001 (2021). See Texas Notice Requirements to Terminate a Month-to-Month Tenancy for further details on terminating a month-to-month lease in Texas.

Terminating a Fixed-Term Tenancy Without Cause

A lease protects renters’ rights to remain at the property for the duration of the time specified (so long as they don’t break its conditions) and prevents a landlord from terminating a fixed-term tenancy early without cause.

Landlords must wait until the term is over if they want tenants with leases to leave without good reason (such as nonpayment of rent). The landlord doesn’t have to tell the tenant that the lease isn’t being renewed unless the agreement says so.

For instance, if the tenant has a one-year lease that expires in December and hasn’t requested a renewal, the landlord isn’t required to give the notice to vacate by the end of December (unless such notice is required in the lease). The landlord can anticipate that the renter will vacate the rental apartment by the end of December.

Holdover renters are those who stay in a rental unit after their lease is up. In Texas, the landlord must give the remaining tenant three days’ notice to leave.

The landlord may file an eviction case with the court if the tenant does not vacate the property by the conclusion of the three-day notice period. (Texas Proposition Code Ann., Section 24.005 (2021))

Tenant Defenses to Eviction

The amount of time between the delivery of the notice to vacate and the actual eviction might dramatically rise when tenants decide to resist the eviction. Depending on the circumstances, tenants may have many reasons or justification for refusing to leave (defenses).

One of the most prevalent—and effective—defenses is that the landlord did not terminate the tenancy by all applicable laws. For instance, if a landlord gives the notice to leave in the wrong way or doesn’t wait long enough before filing the eviction lawsuit, a tenant who raises these defenses will probably prevail in the eviction case, and the landlord will be forced to start the eviction process all over again.

Other possible eviction defenses in Texas include a landlord’s negligence in keeping the property habitable and a landlord’s unlawful discrimination.

Removal of the Tenant

In Texas, a landlord must refrain from forceful entry and detainer cases (eviction litigation) to legally evict a tenant from a rental unit. Even after winning the lawsuit, a landlord cannot evict a tenant on their initiative.

Only a police officer with the judge’s authority can remove a tenant. Texas law prohibits the landlord from evicting a renter(holdover tenant) directly from the rented property. For additional details on this subject, see Texas’s Illegal Eviction Practices.

The Rationale for the Rules

When a Texas landlord wants to evict a holdover tenant, he/she should meticulously adhere to all legal requirements set forth by Texas law; otherwise, the court may decline to issue an eviction order.

Although the landlord may feel burdened by these guidelines, they are in place for a reason. Evictions can take place relatively fast, and as a result, evicted tenants frequently lose their homes. The regulations aid in ensuring that evictions are lawful and that evicted renters have sufficient time to find new housing.

Conclusion

Tenants who remain on your property after their lease has finished are known as holdover tenants. The rights of a holdover tenant in Texas may be asked to evict the property by the landlord or otherwise. Landlords are required to report a tenant who refuses to vacate to the police; do not take matters into your own hands. To evict a tenant, landlords must follow the correct legal process.

Holdover Tenants FAQs

How long does it take to evict a holdover tenant in NYC?

You should receive at least 14 days’ notice of the eviction, and the notification should include the deadline for moving. Anytime after that day can be chosen for the eviction. However, as you can only be evicted on a work day, if the 15th day occurs on a weekend, it must wait until Monday to proceed.

What happens if a tenant refuses to leave?

What should I do if a tenant won’t leave? An eviction procedure may be initiated if the renter refuses to abide by the legal requirements and stays on the property. Failure to pay rent and refusal to vacate the premises by the end of the lease period are sufficient reasons to petition the court for eviction.

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