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Types of Tenancy-Texas

By Tabitha Naylor

There are several different types of tenancy in the state of Texas. Leases are the basic tool used to determine tenancy but joint tenancy can also apply to homeownership and has implications for the inheritance of property. If you plan to buy a property and you are not married you should check with a lawyer regarding the implications for your will, inheritance and probate.


A written lease for property is an agreement in which a person who owns property grants another person the right to occupy and use the property for a specific period of time. In exchange for this right the tenant, or the person occupying the property pays a specified amount of money at regular intervals. This monetary payment is referred to as rent and is generally paid by the week or the month. A different payment period can be designated as part of the lease. When the term of the lease s over, the lease can be extended, terminated or rewritten.

Joint Tenancy

Joint tenancy can mean a joint lease where more than one parties signs. In this event both parties are individually responsible for the terms of the lease and paying the entire rent even if the other residents do not pay their share. You should be very certain of your roommates if you choose to sign a joint lease because you can be left holding the bag if your roommates fail to pay.

Holdover Tenancy

If a tenant stays in a property after the lease expires, it is referred to as a holdover tenancy. In this case, the law looks at the lease itself to determine if the terms of the lease should continue in the event of a holdover tenancy. The law assumes that the tenant is still bound by the covenants established in the lease. What this means, is that if a tenant keeps possession of a property, and they continue to pay rent, and the rent is accepted by the landlord, then the provisions of the expired lease are presumed to continue unless a different agreement has been reached.

Tenant At Will

At the end of a lease period, if no new lease is created, and a tenant stays in possession of the property, the tenant is referred to as a tenant at will, if the tenant has the permission of the owner to remain for an unspecified period of time. Basically, a tenant at will occupies or possesses the property with the consent of the owner. A tenancy at will is similar to employment at will. Either party can terminate the tenancy as long as they provide the other party fair notice of their intention to stop the tenancy.

Tenancy At Sufferance

A tenancy at sufferance is essentially the same thing as a holdover tenancy because the lease is expired and the tenant is remaining in possession of the property without the owner's permission.

In both a tenant at will, and by sufferance situation the landlord is required to provide at least three days' written notice to vacate the premises before the landlord can file a forcible detainer suit (eviction proceedings) unless the parties to the written lease agreed to a different notice period or a subsequent agreement was reached by the parties involved.

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