This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
The expression "periodic tenancy" is a convenient designation for all tenancies which are in their nature such as will endure for a certain period, and will continue for subsequent successive periods of the same length, unless terminated by due notice, at the end either of the first period or of one of the succeeding periods. The typical tenancy of this character is that from "year to year," but the essentia] qualities of a tenancy from "quarter to quarter," "from month to month," or "from week to week," are the same. Such a tenancy is occasionally spoken of as a "yearly," "quarterly," "monthly," or "weekly" tenancy, or as a tenancy "by the" year, quarter, month or week. These expressions can, however, not be regarded as technically accurate, and are to be avoided as tending to confuse such a tenancy with a tenancy for years, which will continue for the period named, whether one or more years, a quarter, a month, or a week. In the case of a periodic tenancy, the tenant has, as has any tenant, an estate in the land, but such an expression as "estate from year to year" or "estate from month to month" is but rarely found.
15. Hollis v. Pool, 3 Mete. (Mass.) 350; Ashley v. Warner, 11 Gray (Mass.) 43; Corby v. McSpadden, 63 Mo. App. 648; Anthony Shoals Power Co. v. Fort-son, 138 Ga. 460, 75 S. E. 606.
16. See post Sec. 263.
17. Litt. Sec. 69; Cornish v. Stubbs, L. R. 5 C. P. 334; Moore v. Boyd, 24 Me. 242; Ellis v.
Paige, 18 Mass. (1 Pick.) 43; Clark v. Wheelock, 99 Mass. 14; Leavitt v. Leavitt, 47 N. H. 329; Payton v. Sherburne, 15 R. I. 213, 2 Atl. 300; Amsden v. Blaisdell, 60 Vt. 386, 15 Atl. 332.
18. Lash v. Ames, 171 Mass. 487, 50 N. E. 996. See 2 Tiffany, Landlord & Ten. Sec. 255(b).
In some states a tenancy apparently such as is ordinarily referred to as a tenancy from year to year is referred to as a "tenancy at will from year to year," or less frequently as a "tenancy at will,"19 in recognition, it would seem, of the fact that either party may terminate it at his will at the end of any year by giving the previous legal notice. The expression "tenancy at will from month to month" is also to be found.20 Occasionally, a periodic tenancy has been regarded as within a provision of a statute referring in terms to a "tenancy at will."21
19. Holmes v. Wood, 88 Mich. 435, 50 N. W. 323; Huntington v. Parkhurst, 87 Mich. 38, 24 Am. St. Rep. 146, 49 N. W. 597; Currier v. Perley, 24 N. H. 219; Lea-vitt v. Leavitt, 47 N. H. 329; Blanchard v. Bowers, 67 Vt. 403. 31 Atl. 848. See Prouty v. Prouty, 5 How. Pr. (N. Y.) 81, 3 Code R. 161; Park v. Castle, 19 How. Pr. (N. Y.) 29.
20. Prendergast v. Searle, 74 Minn. 333, 77 N. W. 231; Blair v. Mason, 64 N. H. 487, 13 Atl.
871. See Haines v. Beach, 90 Mich. 563, 51 N. W. 644.
21. So it has been held that where the statute divides estates into those of inheritance, for life, for years, at will, and by sufferance, an estate from year to year or from month to month is to be regard as included in "estate at will." Hunter v. Frost, 47 Minn. 1, 49 N. W. 327; Hilsendegen v. Scheich, 55 Mich. 468, 21 N. W. 894; Sutherland v. Drolet, 154 Wis. 619, 143 N. W. 663. And a or the tenant may declare on the demise as having been made for the number of years which have elapsed since it was made.28
A tenancy from year to year does not come to an end and recommence with each year, but the tenant has an interest for one year certain with a growing interest during every year thereafter springing out of the original demise.22 In other words, after the beginning of any subsequent year, or indeed after the expiration of that part of the current year in which notice to terminate must be given, the subsequent year or years are to be considered a part of the original term, though in the beginning it was uncertain whether the tenancy would so long continue.23 The same principle applies to any other periodic tenancy, such as one from month to month or week to week.24 This principle has consequences of considerable importance. For instance, if the tenancy were to be regarded as commencing anew at the beginning of each subsequent period, the landlord would. under a rule previously referred to,25 be liable for injuries to strangers caused by defects in the premises existing at the beginning of such new period.26 Furthermore, the landlord has in any year a right to distrain for the rent of a previous year, since the tenant still holds under the same demise.27 And either the landlord tenancy from year to year was held to be terminable by the notice prescribed for a tenancy at will, no notice for a tenancy from year to year being named in the statute. Rosenblatt v. Perkins, 18 Ore. 156, 22 Pac. 598, 6 L. R. A. 257.
22. Cattley v. Arnold, 1 Johns. & H. 651; Gandy v. Jubber, 9 Best & S. 15; Pugley v. Aiken, 11 N. Y. (1 Kern.) 494.
23. Preston, Conveyancing, 76, 77; Wright v. Tracey, 8 Ir. R. C. L. 478.
24. Bowen v. Anderson  1 Q. B. 164, overruling Sandford v. Clarke, 21 Q. B. Div. 398; Ward v. Hinkleman, 37 Wash. 375,
79 Pac. 956. The decisions to the contrary in Borman v. Sandgren, 37 111. App. 160; Griffith v. Lewis, 17 Mo. App. 605, are based on Gandy v. Jubber, 5 Best & S. 78, and make no reference to the opinion on appeal in that case (9 Best & S. 15), in which a contrary view is taken. The above Illinois case is followed in Donk Bros. Coal Co. v. Leavitt, 109 111. App. 385.
25. Ante Sec. 51(d).
26. Bowen v. Anderson  1 Q. B. 164; Gandy v. Jubber, 9 Best & S. 15.
27. Legg v. Strudwick, 2 Salk. 414.