A Month-to-Month Lease Addendum is a legally binding document added to the original month-to-month lease agreement to change, modify, provide additional information about specific rental terms or outline individual policies that have been agreed on by both parties – the landlord and the tenant.
A month-to-month lease addendum is a legal document containing terms meant to change the current lease agreement as agreed on and signed by the landlord and the tenant. The form contains well-structured changes or modifications to the month-to-month lease agreement and information of the involved parties.
A month-to-month lease addendum is only valid once all parties involved in the original signing of the lease agreement agree and sign it. In addition, landlords are often known to increase a tenant’s monthly rent payment upon extension of the lease term; in that case, landlords are required to release 30 days’ prior notice before increasing the tenant’s rental cost.
Uses of a Month-to-Month Lease Addendum
There are a few typical uses of a month-to-month lease addendum.
The usage of a month to month lease addendum is divided in the following ways:
- The month-to-month lease addendum can be used to include details not found in the month-to-month lease agreement, therefore, enabling involved parties to extend a soon to be expired fixed-term agreement
- It is also used to adjust a lease to a month-to-month arrangement and make modifications to an existing monthly rent agreement. Hence, ensuring that the month-to-month lease agreement is not rigid and can accommodate exceptional issues that may arise, such as if a month-to-month lease agreement forbids pets on the property, but a tenant is required to have an emotional support animal. The addendum can be used to modify the term.
- An addendum can be used to add specific risks that were not included in the initial lease and hence allows a more progressive lease agreement between the landlord and his or her tenants.
- An addendum is used to accommodate terms and conditions associated with new situations within the property, for example, the addition of amenities such as parking space. The addendum can be used to outline the allocation and use of the parking space.
- Addendums offer more flexibility to a lease such that a landlord can include distinct terms and conditions to tenants leasing the same property with similar lease agreements. Flexibility is important because different tenants have different negotiating skills.
The components of a month-to-month lease addendum largely depend on the contents of the add ons or the terms and policies themselves. However, there are general components that must include in a month-to-month lease addendum.
These key components include the following:
Names of landlord and tenant
The landlord’s and the tenant’s names must be included in the month-to-month lease addendum to indicate that all parties are aware of the details contained in the form and agree to them. It also helps validate the document’s legitimacy and acts as proof that all parties were included in the formation of the lease addendum.
Address of the property being rented
A month-to-month lease addendum should contain the address of the property being rented because the changes to the terms may only apply to one tenant or a single property. This ensures that the month-to-month lease addendum is clear in where the changes or modifications are applied.
Amendment addition date
The amendment date should be included in the month-to-month lease addendum to inform on the effective date of the agreement. This, therefore, informs both the landlord and the tenant on the date on which they were both bound by the legal changes of the addendum.
Lease extension clause
Suppose the landlord and tenant have agreed on a lease extension of the lease agreement, then the month-to-month lease addendum should state it in the lease extension clause, which will apply in the new agreement upon expiry of the original lease. The lease extension clause should also state the duration of the extension and any changes to the original lease agreement.
An extended lease agreement necessitates the inclusion of the termination clause in the month-to-month lease addendum. The termination clause plays an essential role in governing the rights and obligations of both the landlord and the tenant in the event of an end of the lease agreement before the end date. Therefore, it should state any new termination terms and period as agreed between the landlord and the tenant.
The month-to-month lease addendum should provide information concerning increased rent. This helps ensure that the tenant and landlord have effectively agreed on the amount payable per month. It is also critical for the month-to-month lease addendum to state when the increase will be implemented to ensure that the document is clear on when the new rent term applies.
Other written changes
The month-to-month lease addendum should indicate other changes solicited by the tenant or requiring further detailing. This provides an opportunity for the landlord or the tenant to make changes, modifications, or clarifications to issues related to the lease agreement that came up during the tenancy in writing.
Signatures and date
The date and signature of the parties(landlord and tenant ) should be written at the end of the month-to-month lease addendum. The landlord’s and tenant’s signatures help signify that both parties have read and agreed to the addendum’s terms and are bound by them, therefore making it enforceable.
Essential Writing Considerations
A well-written month-to-month lease addendum can help a landlord and tenant enact changes or modifications that improve the terms of their lease agreement. Therefore, while writing the month-to-month addendum, both parties should consider ensuring that each addendum is under its own topic. It ensures that the landlord and tenant are clear about the sections of the lease agreement that are under modification or change. Both parties should also ensure that each topic has the term ‘addendum’ to clarify that the changes made are to be added as part of the original lease agreement, therefore including them in the rental agreement.
It is essential to ensure that both the landlord and the tenant sign the month-to-month addendum, even when the lease term has already started. This is because any changes to the original lease agreement affect both parties.
Both parties should also consider getting the help of a lawyer when writing the month-to-month lease addendum to ensure it complies with state laws. This ensures that the addendum does not infringe on anyone’s rights and that the changes can be implemented in the state of residence.
Common Lease Addendums
Most addendums created by either the landlord or the tenant are made based on the experience of an ongoing lease. However, creating certain addendums can enable both parties to resolve issues of infarction of the lease.
The following are some common addenda created to address specific issues:
If the lease agreement does not address the issue of pets on the property, a pet addendum can be drafted specifying a stance on the issue. However, suppose the lease agreement vaguely addresses the issue. In that case, the pet addendum should specify the type of breeds permitted(if any) and any fees or deposits associated with them to ensure that both parties are protected should any incidences occur.
Landlords that want to enforce a smoke-free environment in their units will often include it in the lease agreement. However, they can use a smoking addendum to clarify consequences or fees associated with violation of the policy.
Occupation and guest addendum
To limit the number of people allowed in a property that are non-tenants requires the use of an occupation and guest addendum to ensure the home is protected against external damage or fire hazards by such individuals. A guest/occupation addendum should contain specific language outlining how long it is too long for a long-term guest to reside in the property. Lingering guests can be signed on to the original lease via the addendum; however, this is not always possible, especially if it is against state law; as such, the occupation and guest addendum can help plan for various situations instead.
Renovation and landscape addendum
Renovation and landscaping can be a grey area for a landlord and the tenant. Therefore, it is important to ensure that both parties know what changes can be made to the property by creating a renovation and landscape addendum. In addition, it should be clear on any delegated responsibilities and any restrictions on a tenant interested in making changes to the property.
Termination Clause in Month-to-Month Lease Addendum
The termination terms and notice period provided in the month-to-month lease addendum should align with state and federal law. The termination clause should define the conditions under which the lease agreement can be terminated. A termination clause can be customized to the specifications of either the landlord or the tenant; however, even in such situations, it must be within the confines of the law. The language used in the termination clause should be very specific to ensure the conditions and procedures stipulated are clear to both parties.
Required Termination Periods
|Delaware||Title 25 § 5106|
|Illinois||735 ILCS 5/9-207|
|Maine||Title 14 § 6002|
|New Hampshire||§ 540:11(2)|
|New Jersey||§ 2A:18-56|
|New Mexico||§ 47-8-37|
|New York||§ 232-b|
|North Carolina||§ 42-14|
|North Dakota||§ 47-16-07.2|
|Rhode Island||§ 34-18-37|
|South Carolina||§ 27-40-770|
|South Dakota||§ 43-32-13|
|Washington D.C.||§ 42–3505.54(a)|
|West Virginia||§ 37-6-5|
Legal disclosures are the information shared with a tenant about a property. Federal, State and local laws often require landlords to disclose certain information or policies to tenants. These disclosers should be stated in the month-to-month lease agreement, as required by the HUD and EPA, that require landlords countywide to include the lead-based paint disclosure in the lease. If not, an addendum can be used to introduce the new disclosers or add information on those already inexistences but not included in the initial lease agreement.
Other legal disclosers may include:
- Mould and asbestos-related disclosers
- Bed-bug discloser( as required in Chicago)
- Guidelines regarding shared utilities
- Existing health hazards
- Existing damages prior to the tenant moving in
- Handling of rental deposits
- State-specific rent control regulations
Following are some free downloadable templates for you:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an addendum and an amendment?
An amendment changes or directly alters the original document, while an addendum is only added to a preexisting document to ensure that the information contained in the original document is clarified.
Can a landlord charge a month-to-month lease?
Yes. Landlords can make changes to a lease even after the tenant has already signed the initial lease. Both parties must first agree to the changes before they can be added to the lease. The changes will, however, not take effect until the initial lease term expires.
Do I have to sign a lease addendum?
No. Landlords cannot enforce a lease addendum because tenants are not obligated to sign every lease addendum presented to them after they have signed the initial lease agreement. However, the landlord can refuse to renew the rental agreement after the agreement expires if the tenant refuses to sign.