Tisha is a licensed real estate agent in Texas. She holds bachelor's in legal studies and a master's degree in criminal justice.
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.
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.
The three types of tenancy discussed have their differences and can fulfill the specific needs of tenants finding themselves in different situations. With the periodic estate and the estate for years, the agreement between the parties is in writing. The periodic estate doesn't have a specific end date, while the estate for years does. Notice is not required when the tenant in an estate for years plans to vacate, because the end date of the lease is determined when the lease is signed. With a periodic estate, notice is required to vacate. An estate at will is different: nothing is in writing and notice to vacate is not required. With the first two types of tenancy, an amount to be paid in rent is determined and stated in the lease. This is not the same with an estate at will, where there may not be rent paid at all. A tenant who wants to live in a specific place for a specific amount of time, and lock in a specific amount to pay in rent, might be best served in an estate for years arrangement. If a tenant doesn't plan to stay in one place for long, needs temporary housing, or doesn't want to be tied down to a specific place, a periodic estate would be a great arrangement. Finally, for the college student that doesn't have a lot of money but can stay in a family member's home without anything in writing, an estate at will would work.
A periodic estate is a type of leasehold estate. It includes a written agreement between landlord and tenant, specifies the amount of rent to be paid, and requires notice to vacate the property. It can be on a month-to-month or week-to-week basis. It is ideal for tenants who may want to live in one place for a short period of time, are waiting for a home to be built, or have a better rental coming up just a few months down the road. There are also other types of leasehold estates to include estate for years and estate at will. An estate for years is in writing, has a specific begin and end date, and states the amount of rent to be paid. In contrast, an estate at will has none of these.
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