Q&A: What's an evergreen provision?

December 5, 2008

My lease recently expired, and I intend to move, but my landlord said that the lease automatically renewed for an additional year. He mentioned an "evergreen provision." What does this mean?

Q: My lease recently expired, and I intend to move, but my landlord said that the lease automatically renewed for an additional year. He mentioned an "evergreen provision." What does this mean?

A: It is common that upon the expiration of a lease, most state laws convert the lease into a month-to-month term that can be terminated either by the landlord or tenant with 30 days advance written notice. However, most leases have an evergreen provision specifying that if neither party notifies the other of its intention for the lease to end, it automatically renews for an additional year and then year-to-year thereafter, or for a term equal to the initial term. An evergreen provision overrides state law in this situation. It is important to mark your calendar to give proper notice if you intend to terminate the lease and avoid having it automatically roll over.