Renting an apartment in Texas can be confusing at times, depending on the duration of your stay. According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, landlord and tenant rental relationships can fall into four separate categories. These different types describe the length of time and the nature of the relationship that the two parties agree to while negotiating. 

The first of these relationships is terms of years tenancy. This is the most straightforward type, where you agree to live for a fixed time period in a rented space in exchange for paying rent. Your landlord allows you to sublease the apartment to others in this situation. Another relationship is periodic tenancy, where your lease is regularly renewed without question until the landlord ends the contract. If there is no change in either party’s mind, you may continue to rent as long as you please. 

Tenancy at will is when your landlord allows you to continue to rent with no fixed end date after your lease has expired. Tenancy at sufferance is similar. This occurs when you have already lived in a rental property past the expiration date of your lease, but continue to reside there either due to the landlord’s inaction or lack of eviction. 

All variations of the landlord and tenant relationship result from property law and a contract, which is either written or oral. Being knowledgeable about what your options are can help you find the best type of lease for your lifestyle. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.