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Rights of Landlord to Terminate a Month to Month Lease

Rochester, NY |

I have a written lease with a tenant for a month to month term, but the contract also incorporates a purchase option. The lease provides for the tenant's ability to terminate the lease upon 30 days notice. Except to the extent of a default, the lease is silent as far as my rights to terminate early. I know that under a typical month to month lease I have the right to terminate without cause upon adequate notice, but what are my rights to terminate this lease early?

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Attorney answers 2


Has the tenant been making payments towards (or accumulating credit from rent) the ultimate purchase, or is the option literally just a right of first refusal? Not seeing the agreement makes it difficult to guess how to answer your question. Does the option say it terminates with the lease? I would expect you to have a reciprocal right to terminate the lease, absent a provision on point. However, if the tenant has credit towards the purchaser price, or has been making payments towards it, you may have a more difficult time terminating. Bring the agreement to a local attorney for more thought on this.

I may be guessing or not licensed in your state. No atty/client relationship exists.


Dear Rochester Landlord:

You may have crafted a lease where you waived the statutory right of a landlord to terminate a month to month tenancy without cause. In an ordinary month to month lease, there is no reason for the landlord to reserve the right to terminate the tenancy based upon a default since the statute allows for termination on proper notice for no cause at all.

If there is an ambiguity in the lease the ambiguity is construed against the party drafting the lease, likely the landlord.

Because you have a written agreement, you need an attorney to review your lease and answer your questions.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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