When you sign the lease for your first apartment, you might hear someone say that you have “tenancy.”
Your family and friends will congratulate you on your first or latest home. It is your landlord or property management company that might use that term.
When you sign a lease, the written agreement for a tenancy involves the actual property you get to use. Think of it as the apartment owner granted a lesser interest in exchange for receiving rent in return.
If the terms of the tenancy are met, everyone gets to enjoy the relationship. You get to continue living there under the rental agreement while the owner benefits from the rent you pay.
What Types of Tenancy Are Found in Michigan?
Under Michigan’s laws, three tenancy types are officially recognized. It would be fair to say that two of them are suitable for renters, while the third can be problematic.
Most people agree to live in an apartment based on a “fixed-term” tenancy. This lease occurs when you sign a rental agreement with a fixed end date for several months in the future.
When you sign an apartment lease to live in your unit for a year, that action qualifies as a fixed-term tenancy.
If you don’t want to sign a one-year agreement, some landlords or properties might agree to a six-month term. In some situations, a three-month lease could be appropriate.
The second option is called “tenancy at will” or “periodic tenancy.” What is unique about this option is that the agreement is essentially indefinite until you or the landlord decides to terminate it.
Most leases within this second category are a month-to-month arrangement. That means the rental agreement gets renewed at the end of each period if both parties agree to continue their relationship.
If you pay weekly rent, your tenancy at will period is for each week. These agreements can be stopped with proper notice.
You Don’t Want to Be in a Holdover Tenancy
A holdover tenancy occurs when you continue to live in an apartment without an authorized agreement to be there. This action makes you just short of a trespasser under the eyes of the law.
You may have entered into possession of the apartment legally, but a holdover tenancy indicates that this right ended.
You can only enter this tenancy when you remain without the landlord’s consent.
Most leases go from a fixed-term tenancy to a tenancy at will once they expire. Some of them may automatically renew for another year. If this provision isn’t included, the first day you stay beyond the agreed-upon dates transitions you to a holdover tenancy.
If you stay long enough after your permitted time, eviction proceedings may start. Since these actions can have an adverse effect on your credit and ability to secure other housing, it is always better to resolve upcoming deadlines before waiting for them to expire.
Understanding tenancies is the first step to knowing what it is like to rent an apartment. When you know that you need something long-term or just for a while, you can work with landlords and property managers to get the home you need.