Is it possible to pay for a tenancy at will without having the tenancy at will becaome a periodic tenancy?

I ask this because a classmate told me that you cannot pay for a tenancy at will. The moment you pay it becomes a periodic tenancy. Something about what my classmate said is very strange. Then again, if tenancy at will does not involve payment I can see why the landlord/roommate would be able to terminate it whenever he/she wishes. The landlord is basically just doing the tenant a favor if not asking for money. I guess it is kind of like how my parents haven't kicked me out or asked for rent even though I still live with them.

BTW, I noticed that a lot of websites are saying that a month-to-month tenancy and a tenancy at will are interchangeable. I don't think this is correct but if I am wrong please let me know in detail why because if I am wrong then I am almost certain that this fact would figure in to the answer to my question.


A periodic tenancy, a tenancy-at-will and a month-to-month tenancy are all different names for the same arrangement - a tenancy without a defined end date. Which term is used depends on the custom in each jurisdiction. Very specifically, a periodic tenancy follows on from a fixed term tenancy while a tenancy-at-will is created at the outset, however, there is no practical difference in their operation. Both are month-to-month tenancies if the notice period is one month which is almost ubiquitous, however, if there is a different notice period they are not strictly month-to-month. See https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/tenancy-at-will.asp

You have to pay rent under all of them.

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  • Can you please link me to your source? – S J Dec 9 '18 at 20:54
  • This is a website on investment, not law. They might interpret these things differently. – S J Dec 10 '18 at 1:04
  • Investors tend to follow the law, or they don't get to invest any more (unless you count the prison economy). – Nij Dec 11 '18 at 1:32
  • @Nij Then there should be a law website saying the same thing – S J Dec 11 '18 at 2:30
  • "Should" is not a word you can reliably use when it comes to legal advice. – Nij Dec 11 '18 at 2:46

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