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FAQ: What happens at the end of the lease?

Authored By: Georgia Legal Services Program® LSC Funded

FAQ: What happens at the end of the lease?

What happens at the end of the lease?  

Depending on the language of the lease, the lease terminates, extends, or renews at the
end of the lease term. The lease terminates if there is not a renewal or an extension. Once the lease terminates, the landlord may seek possession of the rental property from the tenant.

Language in a lease which lengthens the tenancy for an additional period under the same
terms and conditions provides for an extension of the lease. If there is an extension there is
usually no need for a new lease to be signed. The lease may provide for an automatic extension at the end of the current lease unless the tenant gives notice that they do not wish to extend the lease. Under such a lease provision, the tenant who fails to notify the landlord that they will not be extending could end up obligated for another lease term

Language in a lease which states that the tenancy can be extended at the end of the
current lease term but requires the signing of a new lease provides for a renewal. Some leases have language which gives the tenant an option to renew the lease. Under such a lease term, the tenant must give the landlord written notice of her intention to renew the lease. If the tenant does not timely renew the lease, the landlord will treat the lease as terminated on the expiration of the lease term.

Last Review and Update: Jul 21, 2011