Although a landlord needs only to give a tenant 30 days' written notice to end a tenancy in most cases, some state and local governments require that landlords show cause for terminating the rental agreement, according to Nolo. A tenancy with no lease usually constitutes a month-to-month rental agreement.
In the typical month-to-month rental agreement with no written contract, the landlord and tenant both have the power to terminate the agreement by delivering a letter stating that intent to the other party with 30 days' notice, FindLaw notes. No reason or cause needs to be given, and the letter can be delivered at any time during the month. The tenancy ends 30 days later, even if that's not the day rent is due. Rent is typically prorated for the last month if the tenancy ends fewer than 30 days after the last rent payment.
State and local laws determine under what conditions a landlord must show cause before terminating a rental agreement, as well as the procedure for terminating. Often, the local laws apply to rent-stabilized properties. Landlords in these jurisdictions should familiarize themselves with these laws or consult an attorney before attempting to terminate the agreement. The landlord must also handle the tenant's security deposit as state or local laws mandate.