A leasehold estate is an interest in real property that is measured in calendar time.  Leasehold estates are not freehold estates because they do not exist for an indefinite period of time.   Leasehold estates are considered nonfreehold or less-than-freehold estates.

There are 3 times of leasehold estates:

Estate for years:  An estate for years is a tenancy with a specific starting and ending date.  It exits for a designated period, which may be any length of time fromless than a year to a period of many years (such as a 99-year lease).   An estate for years establishes an interest in real property for the tenant but does not convey actual title or the right of disposition.   This is created by a written lease agreement.

Tenancy at will: A tenancy at will is a lease agreement that has a beginning date but no fixed termination date, such as a week-to-week or a month-to-month agreement.   Tenancies at will may be written or oral agreements.    Notice of termination of tenancies at will is set in statute and is based on the time interval between rental payments:

  • week to week = 7 days notice
  • month to month=15 days notice

Tenancy at sufferance: A tenancy at sufferance occurs when a tenant stays in possession of the property beyond the ending date of a legal tenancy without the consent of the landlord.    The tenant has no estate or title and is not entitled to notice to terminate.  The payment and acceptance of rent alone shall not be construed to be a renewal of the lease.