Periodic Estate: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Tisha Collins Batis

Tisha is a licensed real estate agent in Texas. She holds bachelor's in legal studies and a master's degree in criminal justice.

This lesson will define periodic estate, which is a type of tenancy. Examples of periodic estates will be provided, along with a comparison of periodic estates and other types of tenancy.

Periodic Estates in Real Life

Ben and Emma got married right after high school, and Ben joined the Air Force to support his new family. Ben's Air Force career spanned two decades, causing his little family to move several times. As the years went by, they had two sons. By the time Ben retired, they had lived in four different states and three different countries. Between a few of their moves, they needed a place to stay for a few months until housing on the military base became available. For Ben and Emma, a periodic estate was the perfect solution. They found apartments or houses they could lease on a month-to-month basis.

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Definition of Periodic Estate

A periodic estate is a type of leasehold estate (also known as tenancy). It is a tenancy that continues for successive periods of time, but does not have a specific end date. Terminating the agreement requires proper notice by the tenant or the landlord. In other words, it's a situation where someone can lease a residency on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis and have the freedom to move (with proper notice) that a long-term lease won't allow.

Examples of Periodic Estates

When Ben and Emma moved from Florida to England, housing was scarce. They really wanted to live close to the base, but the only house they could find that would accommodate their family was in a small town about thirty miles away. The housing office on the base knew of a home that would become available in three months, which was just two miles from the base. Ben and Emma didn't want to be stuck in the home thirty miles away by signing a long-term lease. Since all of their belongings were being shipped from Florida, they only had a few personal items with them. They spoke to the landlord that owned the home thirty miles away, and he agreed to allow Ben and Emma to lease the home on a month-to-month basis. It turned out to be the perfect arrangement, because the family that lived in the house just two miles from the base ended up staying a month longer than they'd originally expected. Ben and Emma were able to stay in the first house an extra month, then moved into the second house, where they stayed until Ben received new orders for his next assignment.

Ben's last assignment was in Kansas, after his assignment in Germany ended. Again, they found themselves in a situation where they needed a home for just a few months. Since it was Ben's last assignment, they planned to settle in Kansas permanently. They wanted to build a house, which would take about six months. Remembering the month-to-month lease they enjoyed in England, they looked for a similar arrangement in Kansas. They found a small apartment that was just right for their family: close to the base, and allowed periodic tenancy. They signed a lease on a month-to-month basis, with the intention of staying only six months until their home was built. Everything went smoothly with their builder, but about a week before they were supposed to close on their new home, a problem with their financing came up. Fortunately, they hadn't given notice on vacating their apartment yet. They were able to stay in the apartment about a month longer than they'd originally planned as they worked on getting their financing in order.

Other Types of Leasehold Estates

There are other types of leasehold estates, such as an estate for years and an estate at will. An estate for years is a lease for a specific amount of time. It begins and ends on specific dates. Once the end date comes, the tenant is expected to vacate the property. Additionally, it is a standard type of tenancy which we see the most often. This particular type of lease can be broken if there is a breach of contract of some kind. If a landlord is required to make repairs to the property and fails to do so, this could cause a breach of contract. With an estate at will, there is no defined period of tenancy and no end date. This is a type of tenancy you might see if, for example, a property owner allowed a family member to live in a home with nothing in writing. This could occur in a situation where a grandchild might live in her grandparents' home while she attends college and they're in a nursing home.

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