Tenant at Sufferance Law and Legal Definition

A tenant at sufferance is the situation when a tenant of real estate continues to occupy the premises without the landlord's consent after the original lease or rental agreement between the landlord and the tenant has expired. A tenant in this situation is also referred to a a holdover tenant. The tenant is responsible for payment of the monthly rental at the existing rate and terms, which the landlord may accept without admitting the legality of the occupancy. If a tenant at sufferance does not leave after a notice to quit (move out), he/she is subject to a lawsuit for unlawful detainer. A tenant at sufferance differs from a tenant at will in that the latter has permission of the landlord to stay beyond the expiration date of the agreement, while the tenant at sufferance does not.