The Hold-Over – Tenant Rights

What if the tenant’s lease ran out but she doesn’t want to move? If the landlord insists that she move out, she probably has to. This is known as a tenant hold-over.

A lease is a contract, and both sides are bound by it. If she agreed to a one year lease, neither party is required to renew it when the year runs out.

But if the landlord refuses to renew because he doesn’t like the tenant’s race (or the race of her visitors, etc.) or to punish her for her exercise of some legal rights, any attempt to evict her at the end of the lease might be illegal. See “Retaliatory eviction.”

If the property is in a community that has a rent control law, then you might have to show “good cause” to evict – even after a fixed-term lease expires. “Good cause” is usually non-payment of rent, wrecking the place, and the like – but expiration of a lease is not “good cause.”

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