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Rent Coach: Can I overstay my lease?

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Q. My lease is coming to an end this month, but I'd like to stay on a couple of extra months for my daughter to finish school (which we chose because it's in our neighborhood).  Can I stay on without officially renewing my lease?

A. If you are a market rate tenant and neither you or your landlord move to extend your lease further, you would become a month-to-month tenant if your landlord continues to accept rent from you.  In that case, either party could terminate the lease upon thirty days notice. 

Your landlord can increase your rent during this period with your consent (or change any other terms of the tenancy). In the event you don’t consent, your landlord could choose to provide thirty days notice of termination.

Alternatively, you could ask your landlord for a new lease that terminates at the time that you wish to leave.  This would provide certainty with regards to the rent you be charged and security that you will not be forced to leave sooner than you wished.  Given that you’re looking to depart during the busy summer rental season, your landlord may find this to be an attractive option. 

If your prior lease with your landlord was a rent-stabilized lease, your landlord should have provided you with a notice of renewal between 90 and 150 days before your lease was set to terminate. 

You would have then had 60 days to accept the renewal.  If you failed to do so, your landlord could choose not to allow you to stay after your lease terminates and could move to evict you if you holdover.   


Mike Akerly is a New York City real estate attorney, landlord, and real estate broker. He is also the publisher of the Greenwich Village blog VillageConfidential.     

Note: The information provided here is for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and cannot substitute for the advice of a licensed professional applying their specialized knowledge to the particular circumstances of your case.

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