Ask Gerald: Written Lease or Month-to-Month Agreement, Which is Better?

Q: Is it better to have a written lease for a tenant or a month-to-month lease? Jason, Fort Wayne, Indiana

A: Great question for all the landlords out there also for renters. A month 2 month agreement gives landlord and a tenant more flexibility and if you’re a landlord that may work to your advantage or disadvantage. If you have a good tenant, ideally you’d want to try to lock them into as long a lease as possible. If you have a bad tenant, a month-to-month lease gives you more flexibility to get rid of them, but remember, a tenant can cancel a month-to-month agreement with 30 days notice also. Screening your tenants is a best practice for successful landlords that I strongly recommend-getting good tenants is more important than your lease terms. My suggestion to you would be to take a hybrid approach and start with a written lease that spells out all the terms, fees, deposits and due dates and when it expires allow the rental to revert to month-2-month agreement. . Thanks for your question, Jason, for more real estate tips, visit and check out my Performance Property you tube channel. I’m Gerald Lucas and I’ll see you again soon.

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