This is a lease for a fixed period of time, which period could be one day, two months, 50 years. When you know the termination date from the start, you have the tenancy for years.
Because a term of years states from the outset when it will terminate no notice is needed to terminate.
A term of years greater than one year must be in writing to be enforceable because of the Statute of Frauds.
This is a lease which continueds for sucessiveintervals until Landlord or Tenant gives notice to terminateThe periodic tenancy can be created expressly. For example, L conveys to T from month to month or year to year or week to weekThe periodic tenancy can also arise by implication (see next card)
1. Land is leased with no mention of duration, but provision is made for payment of rent at set intervals
2. An oral term of years in violation of the Statute of Frauds creates an implied periodic tenancy measured by the way rent is tendered.
If L and T negotiate and orally agree to a 5-year lease at $1000/month, this is not a tenancy for years because it violates the Statute of Frauds. If T sends L a check for $1000 and L accepts it, T's first rental payment renders his interest an implied periodic tenancy with the intervals based on the way rent is tendered
3. The holdover: In a residential lease, if L elects to hold over a T who has wrongfully stayed on past the conclusion of the original lease an implied periodic tenancy arises measured by the way rent is now tendered
Notice must be given, usually written.
Common law notice: at least equal to the length of the period itself unless otherwise agreed.
month-to-month: one month's notice (same in VA)
week-to-week: one week's notice (same in VA)
Exception: year-to-year or greater:
comon law: six month's notice
VA: three month's notice (by statute)
Parties may lengthen or shorten by private agreement.
The periodic tenancy must end at the conclusion of a natural lease period.
Tenancy at Will
This is a tenancy for no fixed duration.
For example, "To T for as long as L or T desires."
Unless the parties expressly agreeto a tenancy at will, the payment of regular rent will cause a court to treat this as an implied periodic tenancy (becoming rare)
The tenancy at will may be terminated by either party at any time but a reasonable demand to vacate is usually needed
Tenancy at Sufferance
Created when T has wrongfully held over past the expiration of the lease. We give this wrongdoer a leasehold estate to permit L to collect rent.
The tenancy at sufferance lasts only until L either evicts T or elects to hold T to a new tenancy
1. T's liability to 3d parties
2. T's duty to repair
3. T's duty to pay rent
T's liabiliy to 3d parties
T is responsible for keeping the premises in reasonably good repair.
T is liable for injuries sustained by 3d parties T invited even where L expressly promised to make all repairs.
T's duty to repair
T must maintain the premises and make ordinary repairs
T must not commit waste (voluntary, permissive, ameliorative)
T's duty to repair when T has expreslly covenanted in the least to maintain the property in good condition for the duration of the lease:
Common law: T was liable for any loss to the property including loss due to force of nature
Majority view: T may terminate the lease when premises are destroyed without T's fault
Waste & Fixtures
When a tenant removes a fixture he commits voluntary wasteA fixture is a once movable chattel that, by virtue of its annexation to realty objectively shows the intent to permanently improve the realty.
Examples: heating systems, furnace, lighting installations, storm windows
T MUST NOT REMOVE A FIXTURE NO MATTER THAT SHE INSTALLED IT (may replace with what was there at beginning of lease)
FIXTURES PASS WITH OWNERSHIP OF LAND
Testing whether T's installation = fixture
1. Express agreement b/t L and T is binding and controls
2. In the absence of agreement, T may remove a chattel that she has installed so long as removal does not cause substantial harm to the premises
3. If removal will cause substantial damage, then in objective judgment T has shown the intent to install a fixture
T's duty to pay rent
1. If T breaches this duty and is in possession of the premises: L's only options are to evict through courts or continue the relationship and sue for rent due. If L moves to evict, she is nonetheless entitled to rent from T until T, who is now a T at sufferance, vacates.
LANDLORD MUST NOT ENGAGE IN SELF HELP, such as changing the locks or forcibly removing T, or removing any of T's possessions; Self-help is flatly outlawed and is punishable civilly and criminally
2. T breaches this duty but is out of possession: SIR
-Surrender: L could choose to treat T's abandonment as an implicit offer of surrender which L accpets; that is, T shows by words or actions that she wants to give up the lease. If the unexpired term is greater than one year surrender must be in writing.
-Ignore: the abandonment and hold T responsible for unpaid rent just as if T were still there. This option is available only in a minority of states
-Relet: the premises on the wrongdoer tenant's behalf, and hold him or her liable for any deficiency. Majority rule: L must try to relet, mitigate.
1. Duty to deliver possession
2. Implied covenant of quiet enjoyment
3. Implied warranty of habitability
4. Retaliatory eviction
Duty to deliver possession
English/majority rules: L put T in physical possession of the premises. If at the start of T's lease a prior holdover T is still in possession, L has breached and the new T gets damages
American/minority rule: L need only provide T with legal possession and not physical possession
Implied covenant of quiet enjoyment
Applies to both residential and commercial leases.
T has a right to quiet use and enjoyment of the premises without interference from L.
implied covenant of quiet enjoyment
actual wrongful eviction
Occurs when L wrongfully evicts T or excludes T from the premises
Implied covenant of quiet enjoyment
SING (like Dido when her apartment floods)
Substantial Interference: due to L's actions or failure to act. Not necessarily permanent but must be chronic.
Notice: T must notify L of the problem and L must fail to act meaningfully/responsibly.
Goodbye: T must vacate w/in a reasonable time after L fails to fix the problem.
Implied covenant of quiet enjoyment
L is not liable for acts of other T's
1. L must not permit a nuisance on site
2. L must control common areas
Implied warranty of habitability
Applies only to residential leases (not commercial)Non-waivable
The premises must be fit for basic human living, meaning bare living requirements must be met. Standard may be supplied by housing code or case law.
Examples - no heat in winter, no plumbing, no running water
T's entitlements when the implied warranty of habitability is breached: MR3
M: move out and terminate the lease (not required)
R: repair and deduct, only reasonable
R: reduce rent or withhold all rent until the court determines fair rental value; escrow account to show good faith
R: remain in possession, pay rent and affirmatively seek money damages
If T lawfully reports L for housing code violations, L is barred from penalizing T, by, for example, raising rent or ending the lease or hasrassing T or taking other reprisals
This is T's protective device
Assignment versus Sublease
T may freely transfer interest in whole (assignment) or in part (sublease).
In lease, L can prohibit T from assigning or subletting w/out L's prior written approval.
But once L consents to one transfer by T, L waives the right to object to future transfers by that T, unless L reserves the right.
T1 to T2 = privity of estate
So L and T2 are liable to each other for all of the covenants in the original lease that "run with the land"
examples - promise to pay rent, to paint, to repair
L and T2 are not in privity of contract unless T2 assumed all promises in the original lease
L and T1 are no longer in privity of estate; but they remain in privity of contract.
Thus, L and T1 are secondarily liable to each other.
L and sublessee (T2) are in neither privity of estate nor privity of contract. T2 liable to T1 and vice versa.
Landlord's Tort Liabilit
Common law: caveat lessee
for tort - L was under no duty to make the premises safe
Common areas: hallways and stairwells
Latent defects rule: L must warn T of hidden defects that L knows about or should know about (duty to warn, not repair)
Assumption of repairs: L who voluntarily makes repairs must complete them with reasonable care
Public use rule: L who leases public space and who should know, b/c of the nature of the defect and the length of the lease that T will not repair, is liable for defects on premises
Short term lease of furnished dwelling: L is liable for any defect that proximately harms T