How to Convert an Annual Residential Lease to Month to Month

Residential leases come in several varieties. The two most common are annual and month-to-month. Under an annual lease, a resident agrees to rent a particular property for a year, often with an option for renewal at the year's end. Month-to-month leases work like annual leases, only instead of agreeing to stay for a full year, the resident agrees to stay for only a single month. A monthly lease allows more flexibility as both the renter and the landlord can terminate the lease at any time, albeit with some required notice.


Step 1

Schedule a meeting with your landlord. While both a resident or landlord might have reasons to prefer a monthly lease, usually the resident will have more reason to, as month-to-month leases are less restrictive and annual leases provide the landlord some assurance of having a tenant for a full year. When proposing a change, speak to your landlord face to face.


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Step 2

Make a case for a month-to-month lease. To convert an annual lease, both parties that signed the original lease must agree to the change. Many landlords may be hesitant to convert an annual lease. For this reason, you should develop a number of arguments about why a month-to-month lease is in landlord's interest. For example, a month-to-month lease may give the landlord greater latitude to raise rent or change tenants.


Step 3

Negotiate terms of a new lease. While some month-to-month leases contain nearly identical terms to annual leases -- the monthly rent remains the same, as do the conditions of use -- in other cases, the terms may change slightly to accommodate one party. For example, the landlord may request that you pay a higher rent for the privilege of having a month-to-month contract. You will also need to negotiate the terms under which the month-to-month agreement can be abrogated. A landlord may be required to give a month's notice if he wishes you to vacate, or, if you wish to vacate, you might be required to give advance notice as well.


Step 4

Draw up and sign a contract modification document. In order to make sure that the modification is legally valid, both parties should sign a legal document that outlines the change to the initial lease. This document should be drawn up by an attorney familiar with real estate or contract law. If the document is prepared by your landlord, you should have an attorney inspect it before you sign it.