Tenancy Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Tenancy, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Tenancy?

The right to ownership of the real estate property legally by the way of purchase, lease, will or by paying rent.It may be permanent title to the property or can be temporary for months or years as specified prior to transfer of title.

History and Meaning of Tenancy

Tenancy refers to the right of a person or entity to occupy a property or land under an agreement with the owner or landlord. This agreement may come in the form of a lease, rental agreement, or other similar document. The history of tenancy laws can be traced back to medieval England when feudal lords granted land rights to tenants in exchange for rent or services. Over time, different types of tenancy agreements developed, such as fixed-term tenancies, periodic tenancies, and tenancies at will. Today, tenancy laws vary from state to state and country to country, but most have provisions for determining rent, eviction, and the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.

Examples of Tenancy

  1. John signed a one-year lease for an apartment with a monthly rent of $1,000.
  2. Mary inherited a property with a tenant who had been living there for 10 years under a periodic tenancy agreement.
  3. The landlord evicted Tom for non-payment of rent after giving him a 30-day notice, as specified in their tenancy agreement.

Legal Terms Similar to Tenancy

  1. Leasehold: A form of tenancy where the tenant has exclusive possession of the property for a specified period, subject to paying rent and following the terms of the lease.
  2. Landlord: The owner of rental property who grants tenancy to a tenant.
  3. Subletting: When a tenant rents out part or all of their rented property to another person, under an agreement with the original landlord.