A leasehold estate is what you have when you have an agreement to rent a property. It covers the time you have rights to and temporary ownership of the property.
According to the California Department of Real Estate, there are four types of leasehold estates that you may have.
Estate from period to period
An estate from period to period is when you rent for a specific time and renew your lease at the end of that time. It can be days, weeks or years in length. Your agreement with the landlord will specify this type of leasehold estate.
You probably recognize this as a common type of lease. Many landlords will rent on a month-to-month basis. The main idea, though, is that the lease is in effect for the specified period, and at the end, you and the landlord can decide to renew or not.
Estate for years
An estate for years may not last for years. It can be days, weeks or months as well. The idea behind this type of lease is that it sets a fixed time period in which you will rent the property.
A common use for this type of lease is when the renter knows he or she only needs the property for a set time. For example, if you sold your home and need some place to rent for the two months between the sell of your home and the purchase of the new one, then you may have this type of lease for a two-month period.
Estate at sufferance
An estate at sufferance is when you remain in possession of the property after the expiration of your lease. This occurs without the owner’s consent, so you do not sign a new lease or make other agreements with the owner that allows you to legally remain in control of the property.
Estate at will
An estate at will does not have a set time. You or the landlord can decide at any time that you will end the agreement. It is not common because once you start paying rent at a regular interval, it becomes an estate from period to period.