Far better, many reasoned, would be to create a monthly tenancy in this situation, unless the parties expressly decided to renew the lease.
In America, many states thus adopted the rule explained above, but there are still some holdouts.
But the landlord is demanding three month’s rent, and has begun collection efforts. When your son remained on the premises, he became what’s known as a "holdover tenant." The landlord could have evicted him, or demanded that he sign another lease. And, if your state requires only one month’s notice to end it, your son would have had the right to do as he did, without future liability for rent. Some adhere to the old common law rule, which developed in agrarian England.
There, tenancies were agricultural, and few tenants (or landlords) were interested in tenancies for a matter of months: If you’re operating a farm, you can’t get much done and make any money in such a short time.
In England, as the Industrial Revolution hit and people moved to the cities, creating the first example of urban tenants, it quickly became apparent that this rule worked a large hardship on city-dwelling tenants, who would suddenly find themselves bound for an entire year when they overstayed but a month or so.
Landlords didn’t fare so well either: Tenants who had to leave usually just left, and collecting rent from them became a nuisance at best, and more often an impossibility.
Q: Our son rented an apartment with a one-year lease.
It is of common occurrence in connection with deeds, leases and other contracts that, while they are not in effect at all and have no legal existence until delivered, yet, in respect to the date of delivery, they, in point of commencement, relate back or commence in the future.
Such relation back or forward contravenes no principle of law and is determined by the intent of the parties as deduced from the instrument itself.” As a practical matter, the proper date to put on an agreement is something that corporate counsel is likely to have to make a judgment call on quite often.
This is reflected in the Linklaters article Execution of Documents: Five Common Questions Answered, which offers the following advice for in-house lawyers: “(i) contracts may only be backdated, absent fraud, in circumstances where an original form has been lost or where terms have been fully agreed but signatures have been left to a later date and (ii) deeds may never be backdated.” Unfortunately, the article offers scant authority, and a search on Google reveals little else on the subject from the commonwealth world.
In the US, however, there seems to be have been much more consideration of the issue (at least according to my Google search results).