What Is a Rental Agreement?

A periodic rental agreement is measured by the length of time (the number of days) between the two rent payments. The length can be as short as a week or as long as a month. The length of time between rent payments is called the rental period. For example, if your periodic rental agreement requires your tenant to pay rent every month, that is called a month-to-month rental agreement. The tenancy under such rental agreement is called month-to-month tenancy. The most common type of periodic rental agreement is actually a month-to-month rental agreement.

You can also create a rental agreement with longer (or shorter) rental periods. For example, if the periodic rental agreement requires a tenant to pay rent once a week, it is a week-to-week rental agreement and the tenancy is a week-to-week tenancy.

A periodic rental agreement expires after each rental period, and is renewed by the next rent payment. Unlike a lease, a periodic rental agreement does not imply an end date, such as a number of months for which the agreement will last. Instead, so long as the tenant wants to stay on the premises and pays rent, and so long as the landlord allows the tenant to stay and does not ask the tenant to leave, the tenant can live in the rental unit indefinitely.

The length of time between the rent payments (the rental period) under a periodic rental agreement is also used to measure three things:

  1. How often the tenant must pay rent

  2. How much advance notice the tenant must give the landlord, and vice versa, if either one of them wants to terminate the tenancy

  3. How much advance notice the landlord must give the tenant if the landlord decides to change the terms of the rental agreement.