A holdover tenant is a tenant that stays past the terms of the lease. Be it a residential or commercial lease. Huge caveat: Every state treats landlord-tenant law differently. California for example is heavily biased towards the renter, while other state's laws favor the landlord.

First of all, in most states, if the lease has expired and the tenant remains the landlord has the option to continue accepting rent. If the landlord continues to accept rent a "month-to-month" tenancy is created. This means that no one is violating the terms of the original lease and a tenancy without a lease has been created. Both landlord and tenant now owe each other notice of terminating the lease as required by any tenancy without a lease. For example, thirty days written notice that the lease will terminate.

The other option for the landlord is to stop accepting rent thereby creating a holdover situation. In many states, CA being one, the landlord may NOT physically evict the tenant, even if the lease is expired and no rent has been paid. The landlord will have to bring a holdover proceeding to have the tenant removed from the premises.

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