Tenancy at Sufferance Eviction-Meaning and Usage


A tenancy at sufferance occurs when a tenant wrongfully holds over past the end of the durational period of the tenancy.

Many landlords find leasing commercial or residential property to be a lucrative source of income (lessor).

Tenants (lessees) on lease have the right to use an immovable property for a set period of time in exchange for a monthly, quarterly, or annual lease payment.

Tenancy at Sufferance Eviction Definition

Tenancy at sufferance is a legal agreement that allows a property renter to stay on a property after the lease period has ended but before the landlord demands the tenant remove the property.

If a tenancy at sufferance occurs, the terms of the original lease must be followed, including the payment of any rents due. Otherwise, the Landlord has the right to evict the renter at any moment and without notice.

Tenancy at will, on the other hand, is when a tenant occupies a property with the consent of the owner but without the need for a written contract or lease.

Tenant at Sufferance Virginia

Tenants have various rights under Virginia law when they move in, while they are renting, and before they can be evicted.

Whether or not your tenancy is covered by the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act determines your individual rights (VRLTA).

If you live in an apartment complex or other sort of multi-family dwelling, you are covered by the VRLTA. You share heating, hot water, entry, exit, or some other service with another apartment in the same building if you live in multi-family housing.

If you live in a single-family home and your landlord rents out more than ten single-family homes in a county or more than four single-family homes in a city, you are also covered.

Before you move in, most landlords will require you to sign a lease. A lease is a legal agreement that specifies what the landlord will do and what you, the tenant, must do. Because you must normally follow all of the terms of the lease, make sure you understand exactly what you have agreed to do.

Tenant at Sufferance– What you should look for in terms of the lease

  • How much will the rent be every month, to name a few?
  • The amount of the security deposit, if one is required; when the rent is due; and when it is considered late.
  • What is the cost of a late fee if you are late with a payment?
  • The length of the lease: month-to-month, six-month, or a year.
  • How many days’ notice you must give if you want to relocate.
  • Whether the rent includes utilities such as electricity, heat, water, and sewer.
  • Whether the landlord provides a refrigerator, stove, air conditioner, or other appliances.
  • What you’ll need to do is fix the damages.
  • Any additional fees or charges.

Despite the fact that most landlords have a lease, nothing in the paper is required. A month-to-month tenancy is one in which you pay rent once a month and the lease renews each month.

Either you or the Landlord can terminate the tenacity with written notice at least 30 days before the next rent payment is due.

In addition, because each month is a new tenancy, the landlord must give the same 30-day notice if he or she wants to raise the rent or make other changes.

If you do not have a lease or pay rent, you are termed a tenant at sufferance under Virginia law. This means that the Landlord can evict you at any time for any cause, with no prior warning.

The person who is allowing you to live there does not have to go to court to evict you and can have you removed (or the locks changed) at any moment.

Tenant at Sufferance Eviction Virginia

A landlord may desire to evict a tenant for a variety of legal reasons. Before physically evicting a tenant in Virginia, a landlord must file an eviction case and obtain a court order.

Below are the distinct steps of the eviction process in Virginia.

Step 1: Notice is posted

In Virginia, landlords can start the eviction process for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Nonpayment of Rent: When rent is past due, the landlord will issue a written notice to the tenant offering them the choice to pay rent or face eviction.
  • Breach of Lease Terms/Rental Agreement: If a tenant breaches a lease/rental agreement, the eviction notice must state whether the breach can be “fixed” (corrected).
  • No Lease/End of Lease Term (Tenant at Will): If there is no lease or the lease term expires, the landlord does not require a justification to terminate the tenancy if adequate notice is given.
  • Illegal Activity: If a tenant is engaging in illegal activities, the landlord is not obligated to offer written notice before proceeding with eviction.

Each reason for eviction has its own set of criteria for how the process begins.

Process of Eviction for Non-Payment of Rent

For failing to pay rent on time, a landlord has the right to remove a renter.

Rent is due on the first day of the month for leases with no signed rental agreement and is considered late if not paid by the fifth day of the month.

If rent is not paid by the fifth day of the month, late fees may be imposed.

The rent due dates, grace periods, and late fees (if any) are all addressed in the written rental agreement for leases with written rental agreements.

If the landlord intends to pursue an eviction action with the court, he or she must provide the tenant a 5-Day Notice to Pay once the rent is past due.

To avoid eviction, the renter must pay the past due sum in full within five days of receiving this notification.

The landlord may begin the eviction process if the tenant does not pay the rent due by the end of the notice period and stays on the property.

Process of Eviction for Breach of Lease/Rental Agreement

In Virginia, a Landlord can evict the tenant if they fail to fulfill their obligations under a signed lease or rental agreement.

When it comes to leasing infractions in Virginia, landlords have two alternatives.

Landlords are obligated to send tenants with a 30-Day Notice to Comply for curable, or correctable, violations, giving tenants 21 days to fix the issue or the lease agreement would be terminated within 30 days.

Damage to the rental property, having too many persons staying in the rental unit, having a pet when there is a no-pet policy, and correctable health/safety breaches are all examples of typical lease infractions in this category.

Landlords must give renters a 30-day Notice to Quit if they can’t address violations.

If the tenant fails to address the problem and continues on the property after the notice time has expired, the landlord may pursue eviction.

Process of Eviction for No Lease/End of Lease Term

If tenants “hang over,” or remain in the rental unit after the rental period has expired, the landlord must give them notice before evicting them in Virginia. This can include tenants who do not have a signed lease and tenants who rent on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis.

This form of eviction frequently occurs when a tenant’s lease is about to expire and the landlord refuses to renew it.

The type of tenancy determines the length of time:

  • Week-to-Week: If rent is paid weekly, the landlord is must to provide the tenant a 7-Day Notice to Quit.
  • Month-to-Month: A landlord must provide a tenant a 30-Day Notice to Quit if the rent is paid on a month-to-month basis.

The landlord may begin the eviction process if the tenant remains on the property after the notification time has expired.

Process of Eviction for Illegal Activity

Landlords are not obligated to provide written notice to renters who are participating in illegal behavior before proceeding with an eviction action.

Illegal action includes the following:

  • Criminal behavior,
  • Illegal drug use, and
  • Violent activities endanger the health or safety of other citizens.

Tenants are unable to rectify the problem in order to escape eviction.

Without giving the tenant prior written notice, landlords may continue immediately to Step 2 below.


Step 2: Complaint is Filed and Served

Virginia landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate circuit or district court as the following step in the eviction process. This costs $151 in filing fees at the Arlington Circuit Court.

A sheriff, professional process server, or anybody over the age of 18 who is not involved in the case must serve the summons and complaint on the tenant at least 10 days before the hearing.

One of the following ways can be used to serve the summons and complaint:

  • Delivering a copy to the tenant;
  • By posting a copy at the rental unit as well as mailing a copy to the tenant;
  • By way of publication (court-order only) or
  • Leaving a copy with a member of the tenant’s household who is 16 years old or older.

Step 3: Court Hearing and Judgement

The landlord must schedule the eviction hearing between 21-30 days after the filing of the summons and complaint with the court.

If either the landlord or the tenant demands a jury trial, the procedure will take longer.

The judicial officer may find in favor of the landlord if the tenant fails to present for the hearing.

A writ of eviction will be issued if the judge determines in favor of the landlord, and the eviction process will begin.

Step 4: Issuing of the Eviction Writ

The landlord must request the writ of eviction, which is the tenant’s final notice to vacate the leased unit.

It can be given as soon as 10 days after the landlord’s judgment is entered; but, if the writ of eviction is not obtained within 180 days, the landlord will have to start the eviction process anew.

Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned

If the tenant cannot be discovered within 15-30 days of receiving the writ of eviction, the sheriff or constable must deliver the writ to the renter or post it on the rental property.

The tenant will have 72 hours to vacate the rental unit after the writ is delivered before the sheriff or constable returns to forcefully evict them.

Timeline for the Eviction Process in Virginia

The following is a list of factors beyond the landlord’s control. These factors influence the length of time it takes to evict a tenant in Virginia.

Weekends and legal holidays may be excluded from various time periods, and some estimates may not include them.

  • Initial Notice Period: Depending on the form of notice and the reason for eviction, the initial notice period might last anywhere from 5 to 30 days.
  • Issuance/Service of Summons and Complaint: 10 days before the hearing, the summons and complaint are issued and served.
  • Court Hearing and Ruling on the Eviction: Within 21-30 days after the summons and complaint are filed, the court will hear and rule on the eviction.
  • Issuance of Writ of Possession: The Writ of Possession is issued 10 days after the decision is entered.
  • Return of Possession: 18-33 days; the sheriff has 15-30 days to deliver the writ, and the tenant has 72 hours after the eviction writ is posted to move out.

READ ALSO: HOLDOVER TENANT: Definition & All You Need To Know

Tenancy at Sufferance: Information Supplementary

Tenant’s Protections: There may be a legal justification for the eviction to be postponed or dismissed. Among the most common defenses are:

  • Without a court order, the landlord evicts the renter.
  • The landlord replaces the locks on the rented apartment or disconnects the utilities.
  • The landlord disobeyed local and state legislation.
  • The renter is retaliated against by the landlord.
  • Because the renter is a victim of family abuse, the landlord ends the tenancy.
  • The lease infraction was rectified by the tenant.
  • The landlord failed to keep the rental apartment in a habitable state.

The landlord treats the renter unfairly because of their religion, color, sex, familial status, age, or disability.

Tenancy at Sufferance California

If a renter stays in their apartment after the lease period has ended without the landlord’s permission. They are, nevertheless, considered a holdover tenant (sometimes known as a “tenant at will”).

A landlord can launch an eviction lawsuit (or, as it is termed in California, an “unlawful detainer”) without serving a formal notice to quit.

Possibly, if there is a holdover tenant, the process will be sped up a little. Furthermore, a holdover renter could be held liable for rent.

In addition to the harm, they have caused during the time they have extended their lease term.

A lease, in general, specifies the amount of rent that a renter must pay and allows for annual increases. When a lease is up for renewal, landlords can raise the rent for a holdover tenant.

What Is A Tenancy At Will?

In California, a 150 percent increase in business rent was found to be enforceable. If the renter had the choice of leaving rather than paying the rent increase, the situation would be different.

A tenancy-at-will is an unwritten arrangement between a landlord and a renter. This sort of tenancy has no time limit or payment exchange and can be canceled at any moment.


As previously stated, tenancy at sufferance occurs when a lease expires but the tenant stays in the rented property. The landlord could not have agreed to the tenant staying in the house. They are not, however, needed to have asked about the tenant’s departure.

However, even if the lease has ended, the tenant is still liable for following the terms of the agreement, which includes paying rent.

FAQs on Tenancy at Sufferance

What is estate at sufferance?

Estate at sufferance is one in which a tenant retains possession of a property after the lease has expired or been lawfully terminated without the owner’s/consent.

Are estates taxable?

Yes. The total worth of a deceased person’s assets that are subject to taxation is referred to as their taxable estate.

The person’s net assets subject to taxation are equal to their entire assets minus obligations, as well as the required tax-deductible share of assets left behind by the deceased that exceed a certain threshold, below which no estate tax is imposed.

What is tenancy at sufferance

When a tenant illegally holds over past the end of the tenancy’s durational time, a tenancy at sufferance is created (for example, a tenant who stays past the expiration of his or her lease).


Recommended Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like