There are two basic ways that a lease arrangement may end between a tenant and a landlord - voluntarily or involuntarily.

When a tenant leaves voluntarily it is due to the lease agreement simply ending and the tenant finding other living arrangements. A tenant must give the landlord at least 30 days written notice of their intent to vacate the premises at the end of the agreement term. Sometimes the tenant will need to remain in the premises for a period of time after the end date for the lease. A tenant may do this because they have not yet secured new housing or need extra time before moving on. If this is the case the tenant will become a month-to-month tenant. Even with a month-to-month tenancy the tenant must provide the 30 days notice of intent to vacate.

Notice to quit for eviction

For a tenant, the most common way to have to leave involuntarily is after receiving a notice to quit. Receiving a notice to quit is not a good thing. A “notice to quit” is a legal termination notice that the landlord gives the tenant, instructing them to leave (quit), or pay the unpaid rent or cure a breach of the agreement. The notice to quit will specify a time period for leaving or curing. In Pennsylvania the notice to quit time period is three days, and if the tenant fails to vacate within those three days the landlord can proceed with any legal remedies available to him. The notice to quit is always a written notice, served to the tenant personally and/or by posting it in an obvious location at the premises.

Holding over is another lease term that confuses some tenants.

Holding over

There is another way that a tenant may voluntarily remain in the premises, and that is by holding over after the agreement term ends. Holding over is another lease term that confuses some tenants. To hold over means to remain in the premises past the stated termination date in the rental agreement, without the consent of the landlord. In Pennsylvania the landlord is allowed to increase the rent to double the amount in the agreement, prorated on a daily basis for as long as the tenant remains in possession. This is why it’s always a good idea for the tenant to make their intentions known, in writing, about staying or going at the end of the agreement term. A landlord will likely increase the rent amount slightly for a month-to-month tenancy, but that is still better than having the rent hiked up to twice the previous rate.