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Fillable Form Residential Lease Agreement

A Residential Lease Agreement is an agreement for one person to rent the property of another for residential purposes over a specific period of time.

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What is a Residential Lease Agreement?

A Residential Lease Agreement is a legally binding contract, made between the landlord and the tenant, which contains all the terms and conditions for renting an apartment or a house as a residence. Its purpose is to put in writing the important terms and conditions between the landlord and tenant. Having a Residential Lease Agreement may help avoid confusion and misinterpretation about access to the property being leased or rented. The agreement is usually signed at the start of a rental term and remains in effect until the end of the rental period.

An Agreement of Lease needs to cover all aspects of the property being rented. Likewise, it should clearly state the expectations from both parties, their duties, responsibilities, and even the possible consequences if one party fails to adhere to the terms and conditions that were made and agreed upon. It should also contain all other information that is necessary to ensure that both parties are protected during the period of the agreement. Some of the most important items that should be stated in lease agreements are:

  • Description of the property
  • Duration of the lease
  • Name of the tenant or tenants
  • Renewal of Lease
  • Rental Fee and due dates
  • Security Deposit
  • Repair and maintenance policies
  • Pet possessions

How to fill out a Residential Lease Agreement?

Get a copy of Residential Lease Agreement template in PDF format.

A Residential Lease Agreement is a vital document that should be filled out and signed before leasing a property. This is because leasing agreements bind both the landlord and the tenant for longer periods, usually ranging from 1 month, 6 months, or more. Thus, lease agreements must be discussed and understood by both the landlord and the tenant. In most cases, lease agreements do not need to be notarized because it is considered short-term contract. However, it is still important to go over the document to avoid future problems and inconvenience.

Preamble

Complete the Preamble by filling out the Introductory Statement of the agreement. Enter the date of the agreement (day, month, year), the names of the parties involved (the tenant and the landlord).

Section II: Lease Type

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the type of lease. You may select:

  • Fixed Lease
  • Month-to-Month Lease

If the agreement is for a fixed lease, enter the date the tenant would be allowed to occupy the premises and the date it would end (month, year). Then, mark the appropriate box to indicate the action to be taken at the end of the lease without renewing the agreement. You may select:

  • Continue to lease the premises under the same terms, under a month-to-month arrangement
  • Vacate the premises

Meanwhile, if the agreement is for a month-to-month lease, enter the date the tenant would be allowed to occupy the premises (month, year), and the number of days the agreement would end upon receiving an ending notice.

Section III: Occupant(s)

This section lists the other individuals who will occupy the premises aside from the tenant. Mark the appropriate box to indicate if there will be other people who will be staying on the premises. You may select:

  • Occupants
  • There are no occupants.

If you chose occupants, list down the names of the people who will be living with you on the premises.

Section IV: The Property

This section provides the information about the property and states that all that is included in this section shall be leased wholly by the tenant.

A: Mailing Address

Enter the mailing address of the property (address, city, state).

B: Residence Type

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the type of residence. You may select:

  • Apartment
  • House
  • Condo
  • Other, (Please Specify)

C: Bedroom(s)

Enter the number of bedrooms the property has.

D: Bathroom(s)

Enter the number of bathrooms the property has.

Section V. Purpose

Mark the appropriate box to indicate what the property should be used for. You may select

  • A residential dwelling only.
  • A residential dwelling and (please specify)

Section VI: Furnishings

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the furniture included in the agreement. You may select:

  • To be furnished with the following items; specify the items
  • Not furnished

Section VII: Appliances

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the appliances the landlord shall provide. You may select:

  • Provide the following appliances; specify the items
  • Not provide any appliances

Section VIII: Rent

Enter the rent amount, in dollars, and the day of the month the payment is due. Also, enter further payment instructions.

Section IX: Non-sufficient Funds (NSF Checks)

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the action to be done if the tenant pays the Rent with a check that is not honored due to insufficient funds. You may select:

  • There shall be a fee of (enter amount) per incident.
  • There shall be no fee.

Section X: Late Fee

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the action to be taken if the payment is not paid on the due date. You may select:

  • There shall be a penalty of (enter amount) due as. Then, Mark the appropriate box to indicate the type of penalty to be paid. You may select:
    • One-time payment
    • Every day rent is late. Also, enter the number of days after the due date to when the payment is considered late.

Section XI: First (1st) Month’s Rent

Mark the appropriate box to indicate when the tenant should pay his or her first month’s rent. You may select:

  • Upon the execution of this agreement.
  • Upon the first (1st) day of the Lease Term.

Section XII: Prepayment

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the pre-payment agreement. You may select:

  • Pre-pay rent in the amount of (enter amount) for the term starting on (enter the month, day, and year) and ending on (enter the month, day, and year). The pre-payment shall be due upon the execution of this agreement.
  • Not be required to pre-pay rent

Section XIII: Proration Period

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the proration period. You may select:

  • Shall take possession of the premises before the state of the lease term on (enter the month and year) and agrees to pay (enter amount) for the proration period.
  • Shall not be taking possession of the premises before the lease term.

Note that the proration rate is calculated by the monthly rent daily, which the tenant should pay upon the execution of the lease agreement.

Section XIV: Security Deposit

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the agreement on the security deposit. You may select:

  • The landlord requires a payment in the amount of (enter amount) for the faithful performance of the tenant under the terms and conditions of this agreement. Payment of the security deposit shall be returned to the tenant within (enter the number of days) after the end of the Lease Term less any itemized deductions. This security deposit shall not be credited towards any rent unless the landlord gives their written consent.
  • The landlord does not require a security deposit as part of this agreement.

Section XV: Move-in Inspection

Mark the appropriate box to indicate their agreed-upon move-in inspection. You may select:

  • Agree to inspect the premises and write any present damages of needed repairs on a move-in checklist.
  • Shall not inspect the premises or complete a move-in checklist.

Section XVI: Parking

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the provision of a parking space. You may select:

  • Shall provide (enter the number) parking spaces(s) to the tenant for a fee of (enter amount) to be paid. Then, mark the appropriate box to indicate the payment terms. You may select:
    • At the execution of this agreement.
    • On a monthly basis in addition to the rent. The parking space(s) are described as: (enter parking spaces description).
  • Shall not provide parking.

Section XVII: Sale of Property

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the action to be taken in case the property is sold. You may select:

  • Has the right to terminate this agreement by providing (enter number of days) day’ notice to the tenant.
  • Does not have the right to terminate this agreement.

Section XVIII: Utilities

Enter all utilities and services that the tenant will provide. This section also states that all other utilities, not mentioned on the list, will be provided by the tenant.

Section XIX: Early Termination

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the action to be taken in the case of early termination. You may select:

  • Shall have the right to terminate this agreement at any time providing at least (enter number of days) days written notice to the landlord along with an early termination fee of (enter amount). During the notice period of termination, the tenant will remain responsible for the payment of rent.
  • Shall not have the right to terminate this agreement.

Section XX: Smoking Policy

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the smoking policy in the property being rented out. You may select:

  • Permitted only in the following areas: (enter the areas smoking is allowed).
  • Prohibited on the premises and common areas.

Section XXI: Pets

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the policy regarding pets. You may select:

  • Shall have the right to have (enter the number of pets) pets(s) on the premises consisting of (list down all the kinds of pet allowed) that are not to weigh over (enter the weight) pounds. For the right to have pets) on the premises, the landlord shall charge a fee of (enter the amount) that is (mark the appropriate box) non-refundable or refundable unless there are damages related to the pet. The tenant is responsible for all damages that any pet causes, regardless of the ownership of the said pet, and agrees to restore the premises to its original condition at their expense.
  • Shall not give the right to have pets on the premises or in the common areas.

Section XXII: Waterbeds

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the policy on the use of waterbeds. You may select:

  • Shall have the right to use a waterbed on the premises.
  • Shall not have the right to use a waterbed on the premises.

Section XXIII: Notices

Enter the address of the landlord where he prefers to receive any notice from the tenant. Then, mark the appropriate box to indicate the address of the tenant to which he will receive a notice sent by the landlord. You may select:

  • The premises.
  • Other. )Please Specify)

Section XXIV: Agent/Manager

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the availability of a manager on the premises. You may select:

  • The landlord does have a manager on the premises that can be contacted for any maintenance or repair. Then, enter the name, telephone number (including the area code), and e-mail address of the manager.
  • The landlord does not have a manager on the premises although the landlord can be contacted for any maintenance or repair. Then, enter the telephone number (including the area code) and the e-mail address of the landlord.

Section XXVI: Possession

This section states that the tenant has examined the condition of the property being rented and that by taking possession, the tenant acknowledges that all premises are in good order and that all flaws are indicated in this agreement. It also states that the tenant may choose to terminate the agreement if the landlord fails to deliver possession of the premises at the state of the lease. If this happens, security deposits, if there is, shall be returned to the tenant, along with the prepaid rent fee, and

Section XXVI: Access

This section state that upon the start of the proration period or the start of the lease term, which comes first, the landlord agrees to give the tenant access to the premises by providing the keys, fobs, cards, or any type of keyless security entry, to be able to enter the premises and other common areas. Likewise, duplicate copies of the access provided may only be authorized with the consent of the landlord, meanwhile, replacements will be provided by the landlord with respective fees. Lastly, this section states that all access provided must be returned by the tenant by the end of the agreement. If the tenant fails to do so, the landlord may charge a fee to the tenant, or the fee may also be deducted from the security deposit.

Section XXVII: Subletting

This section states that the tenant should not sublet the premises without written consent from the landlord.

Section XXVIII: Abandonment

This section states that if the tenant vacates or abandons the premises for a time of seven days or which is the minimum set by state law, the landlord shall have the right to terminate this agreement immediately. It also states that the landlord has the right to remove all belongings including any personal property off the premises.

Section XXIX: Assignment

This section states that the tenant is not allowed to sign the lease unless the landlord has given his or her consent. It also mentions that consent to one assignment doesn't mean to be a consent to the subsequent assignment.

Section XXX: Right of Entry

This section states that the landlord shall have the right to access the premises during working hours, but can only be done with a 24-hour prior notice for necessary repairs, order of inspections, improvements, and alteration purposes, and to supply other services agreed upon. The landlord may also exhibit the premises for lessees, purchasers, and mortgages provided that he notifies the tenant.

Section XXXI: Maintenance, Repairs, or Alterations

This section states that the tenant must maintain the premises in clean and sanitary matters at his or her own expense. Likewise, it states that the tenant shall surrender the property at the end of the term, in as good condition as received, with a room for normal tear and wear. The tenant is not allowed to make any alterations without asking for the landlord’s consent. Meanwhile, the landlord shall be responsible for repairs to the interior and exterior of the building. If the premises includes a washer, freezer, dryer, dehumidifier, or air conditioning unit, the landlord is not required to make a warranty as to the repair or replacement of units if one, or all, shall fail to operate. Likewise, the landlord shall place new fresh batteries in all battery-operated smoke detectors the moment the tenant moves into the premises. It also states that after the initial placement of fresh batteries, it then becomes the responsibility of the tenant to replace the batteries if needed. Lastly, A monthly inspection may be required for all fire extinguishers to make sure that all are fully charged.

Section XXXII: Noise/Waste

This section states that the tenant agrees not to commit waste on the premises and not to permit the use of the premises in an unlawful manner. Likewise, the tenant further agrees to follow all noise ordinances set by the local, county, and State, if any.

Section XXXIII: Guests

This section states that nobody, aside from the tenants and any occupants, is allowed to live on the premises. Guests of the tenants can only stay within the premises for not more than 48 hours.

Section XXXIV: Compliance with Law

This section states that the tenant agrees to the term of the agreement, and to promptly comply with any laws, ordinances, orders, rules, regulations, and requirements that are set, or will be set, by the federal, state, county, city, and municipal governments or any of their departments including the boards, bureaus, commissions, and officials, concerning the premises.

Section XXXV: Default

This section states that if the landlord has the right to terminate this agreement if the tenant fails to comply with any of the financial or material provisions of this agreement or any rules and regulations prescribed by the landlord. The landlord also has the right to terminate the agreement if the tenant fails to comply with the duties imposed by the landlord or by the state for non-compliance. Meanwhile, in case the tenant fails to pay the rent on the agreed-upon due date, the landlord has the option to declare the entire balance, which is a compilation of all months applicable to this agreement, to be immediately due and may also exercise their right and any remedies available to the landlord at law, and may also terminate this agreement.

The tenant will be in default for the following reasons:

  • The tenant is not able to pay rent or other amounts that are owed.;
  • The tenant, its guests, and other occupants violate the rules in this agreement, such as fire, safety, and health rules, or criminal laws, regardless of whether arrest or conviction occurs.;
  • The tenant abandons the premises.;
  • The tenant provides the wrong information in the rental application.;
  • The tenant or any occupants is arrested, convicted, or given deferred adjudication for a criminal offense. This involves potential or actual physical harm to a person and possession, manufacture, or delivery of a controlled substance like marijuana and other drug equipment under state statute.;
  • The tenant, guests, and other occupants possess illegal drugs or paraphernalia within the premises.; and
  • Other things declared by law.

Section XXXVI: Multiple Tenant or Occupant(s)

This sect section states that each living within the premises is considered a tenant. They are individually and jointly responsible for all the obligations in this agreement. This includes, but is not limited to, rent monies. This means that if any tenant, guest, or occupant violates this agreement, it is considered a violation by the tenant.

Section XXXVII: Disputes

This section states that if any dispute arises during or after the term of this agreement between the landlord and the tenant, they agree to settle disputes peacefully before any litigation.

Section XXXVIII: Severability

This section states that if any provision of this agreement would be invalid or unenforceable, the maximum extent permitted by law shall be enforced.

Section XXXIX: Surrender of Premises

This section states that the tenant must surrender the premises when:

  • The move-out date has passed and no one’s living within the premises as to the landlord’s knowledge.; or
  • Upon the expiration of this agreement.

Whichever comes first, the tenant must surrender the premises in better or equal condition as when the agreement started, with room for normal wear and tear.

Section XI: Retaliation

This section states that the landlord is prohibited from any retaliatory acts against the tenant. This includes, but is not limited to, restricting premises access, decreasing or canceling service utilities, and other acts considered to be unjustified.

Section XLI: Waiver

This section states that no provision under this agreement shall be waived unless there is a waiver, expressed in writing, as a formal amendment to this agreement. This shall be executed by the tenant and the landlord.

Section XLII: Equal Housing

This section states that in the case the tenant possesses any mental or physical impairment, the landlord shall modify the premises unless it is too expensive to provide. Thus, the tenant shall provide any impairments and shall present it to the landlord to seek the most appropriate route of modification.

Section XLIII: Hazardous Materials

This section states that the tenant agrees not to possess any type of personal property that has flammable or explosive characteristics in high volumes. This includes, but is not limited to compressed gas, gasoline, fuel, propane, kerosene, motor oil, fireworks, and other fire hazard materials in the form of liquid, gas, or solid.

Section XLIV: Indemnification

This section states that the landlord shall not be held liable for any injury of the tenant inside the premises. It also states that the tenant shall not hold the landlord responsible unless caused by the landlord’s negligence.

Section XLV: Covenants

This section states that all conditions in this agreement shall apply to the heirs, legal representatives. All covenants in this agreement are to be interpreted as conditions.

Section XLVI: Premises Deemed Uninhabitable

This section states that if the premises is deemed uninhabitable due to irreparable damages, the tenant may terminate this agreement provided that a written notice will be sent to the landlord. If the damages are caused by the tenant, he or she shall be liable for all the repairs and the loss of income due to restoration.

Section XLVII: Lead Paint

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the year the property was built. You may select:

  • The premises were built before 1978 and there is an attachment titled the “Lead-Based Paint Disclosure” that must be initiated and signed by the landlord and the tenant.
  • The premises were not built before 1978.

Section XLVIII: Governing LawThis section states that the agreement is governed under the laws of the state where the property is situated.

Section XLIX: Additional Provisions

Enter additional agreed-upon provisions set by the landlord, or the tenant.

Section L: Entire Agreement

Fill out the details below to certify that everything mentioned in this agreement is agreed upon by both the tenant and the landlord. This is also to acknowledge that this agreement replaces all previous discussions, understanding, and oral agreements and that both the landlord and the tenant agree to the terms and conditions mentioned forth in the agreement and they shall be bound until the end of the lease term.

Landlord’s SIgnature

Affix the signature of the landlord.

Date

Enter the date the agreement was signed.

Print Name

Enter the name of the landlord in print.

Tenant’s SIgnature

Affix the signature of the tenant.

Date

Enter the date the agreement was signed.

Print Name

Enter the name of the tenant in print.

Agent’s Signature

Affix the signature of the agent, if there is any.

Date

Enter the date the agreement was signed.

Print Name

Enter the name of the agent in print, if there is any.

Amount(s) due at signing

Security Deposit

Enter the amount required for the security deposit in dollars.

Frist (1st) Month’s Rent

Enter the amount required for the first (1st) month’s rent in dollars.

Parking Fee

Enter the amount required for parking in dollars.

Pet Fee

Enter the amount required for a pet in dollars.

Prepayment of Rent

Enter the amount required for prepayment rent in dollars.

Proration Amount

Enter the prorated amount in dollars.

Total Amount

Enter the total amount the client must pay upon the execution of the agreement.

Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards

Item 1: Lead Warning Statement

This item states the possibility that housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. It further states the health hazards that lead from paint, paint chips, and dust pose, especially when it is not managed properly. Furthermore, it discusses that lead exposure is harmful to young children and pregnant women. Thus, before renting pre-1978 housing, the landlord must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and its hazards in the property and should provide a federally approved pamphlet on lead poisoning to the tenant.

Item 2: Lessor’s Disclosure

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the presence of lead-based paint and its hazards. You may select:

  • Known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards are present in the housing. Explain.
  • The landlord has no knowledge of lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the housing.

Mark the appropriate box to indicate the available reports and records pertaining to the lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazard in the housing. You may select:

  • Landlord has provided the tenant with all available records and reports pertaining to lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the housing.
  • Landlord has no reports or records pertaining to lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in the housing.

Item 3: Tenant’s Acknowledgement

Mark the appropriate box to acknowledge the following:

  • Tenant has received copies of all information listed above.
  • Tenant has received the pamphlet “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”.

Item 4: Broker’s Acknowledgement

Mark the box to acknowledge that the broker, if there is, has informed the tenant of the tenant’s obligations under 42 USC 4852(d) and is aware of his or her responsibility to ensure compliance.

Item 5: Certification of Accuracy

Fill out the following details to acknowledge that both parties have reviewed the information. This will also certify that the information they have provided is true and accurate.

Landlord’s SIgnature

Affix the signature of the landlord.

Date

Enter the date the agreement was signed.

Print Name

Enter the name of the landlord in print.

Tenant’s SIgnature

Affix the signature of the tenant.

Date

Enter the date the agreement was signed.

Print Name

Enter the name of the tenant in print.

Agent’s Signature

Affix the signature of the agent, if there is any.

Date

Enter the date the agreement was signed.

Print Name

Enter the name of the agent in print, if there is any.

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Frequently Asked Questions About a Residential Lease Agreement

What are the types of apartment leases?

There are three primary types of apartment leases: fixed-term, periodic, and month-to-month. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before signing a lease agreement.

  • Fixed-Term Leases — A fixed-term lease is the most common type of lease agreement. It typically lasts for 12 months, though shorter or longer terms are possible. The key benefit of a fixed-term lease is its stability in terms of rent price and length of occupancy. If you sign a fixed-term lease, you can be sure that your rent won't go up during the term of the lease (barring any increase allowed by law), and that you'll have a set time frame for your occupancy.
  • Periodic Leases — A periodic lease is a less common type of lease agreement, typically used in situations where the tenant wants more flexibility than a fixed-term lease allows. With a periodic lease, there is no set end date; instead, the lease automatically renews on a regular basis (usually monthly or yearly). This type of lease can be beneficial for tenants who are unsure about their long-term plans, but it does come with some risk – the landlord could raise the rent at any time, or give you notice to vacate with relatively short notice.
  • Month-to-Month Leases — A month-to-month lease is exactly what it sounds like – an agreement that renews on a month-to-month basis. This type of lease is the most flexible, allowing either the tenant or landlord to give notice to terminate the lease at any time. While this flexibility can be beneficial, it also means that rent prices could change frequently, and you may have to move with relatively short notice.

Which type of lease is right for you will depend on your individual circumstances and needs. Be sure to carefully consider all of your options before signing any lease agreement.

What is the difference between lease and rent?

The main difference between a lease and a rent is that a lease is a contract for the use of property, while rent is simply payment for the use of the property. A lease typically lasts for a set period of time, while rent is often paid on a monthly basis. leases usually involve some sort of security deposit, while rent may not. Leases often give tenants the option to purchase the property at the end of the lease term, while rent does not typically offer this option.

Knowing which one is better for you depends on your needs and the property itself. If you need flexibility, then renting might be the better option. If you want to own the property eventually, then a lease with an option to purchase might be a better choice. If you have bad credit or can't afford a large down payment, then leasing might be your only option. Ultimately, it's important to weigh all your options and choose the one that's best for you and your situation.

What makes a lease invalid?

There are certain situations that make a lease invalid. Here are some of them:

  • The property is not fit for human habitation. This could be because it is in a state of disrepair or because it is infested with pests.
  • The landlord has failed to comply with the terms of the lease agreement. For example, if the landlord agreed to make repairs and has not done so.
  • The tenant has not paid rent.
  • The tenant has caused damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear.
  • The tenant has engaged in illegal activity on the premises.

If one of these situations applies, then the lease may be considered invalid and the tenant may be able to move out without penalty.

What happens when a lease ends?

In general, when a lease expires, the tenant will be required to move out of the rental unit. If the tenant wishes to continue living in the unit, they will typically be required to sign a new lease with the landlord. In some cases, the tenant may be able to negotiate with the landlord to sign a month-to-month rental agreement.

Is a lease a legal document?

Yes, a lease is a legal document. This means that it is binding on both the landlord and the tenant. It sets out the terms of the agreement between them, and either party can be held accountable if they breach any of those terms.

It's important to note, however, that not all leases are created equal. Some may be more thorough and legally binding than others. It's always best to consult with an experienced attorney before signing any lease agreement.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of leasing?

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of leasing a property:

Advantages:

  • You may be able to get a lower monthly payment than if you were buying the property outright.
  • Leasing can be a good option if you're not sure how long you want to stay in a certain area.
  • Leases usually come with built-in protections for the lessee, such as the right to renew and limits on rent increases.

Disadvantages:

  • You'll never own the property outright, so you won't build any equity in it.
  • You may have to pay extra fees, such as a security deposit, agent's commission, and application fees.
  • Leases typically last for one year or more, so you'll be committed to a certain property for at least that amount of time.
  • You may be responsible for paying for repairs and maintenance on the property.

To decide whether leasing or buying a property is right for you, it's important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Consider your financial situation, how long you plan on staying, and your personal preferences. Ultimately, the best decision is the one that makes the most sense for your individual circumstances.

How do I make a lease agreement?

There are a few things you'll need to do in order to make a lease agreement:

  • List all the people who will be living in the space that is being leased
  • Include the address and a description of the property
  • State the length of the lease
  • Detail what is included in the rent price
  • List any rules or regulations regarding the property
  • Have all parties involved sign and date the agreement

Be sure to keep a copy for your records for the duration of the lease to ensure that you can reference it as needed.

Is a lease agreement the same as a rent agreement?

No, a lease agreement is not the same as a rent agreement. A lease agreement typically stipulates that the tenant will occupy the property for a set period of time, usually one year or more, and outlines the terms of the tenancy, such as rent amount and due date, security deposit, etc. A rent agreement, on the other hand, is a more flexible arrangement that can be renewed on a monthly basis.

How do leases work?

Leases are agreements between a landlord and tenant that give the tenant the right to occupy a property for a set period of time, typically in exchange for rent. The terms of the lease will vary depending on the landlord and tenant, but usually specify how long the lease is for, how much rent is due, and what the consequences are if either party breaks the lease. Once both parties have signed the lease, it becomes legally binding.

There are two main types of leases: fixed-term and periodic. A fixed-term lease is for a specific amount of time, typically 6 or 12 months. At the end of the fixed term, the tenant can either move out or sign a new lease. A periodic lease has no set end date and typically runs month-to-month. The tenant can give notice to the landlord to move out at any time, although most landlords require 30 days' notice.

Leases are binding contracts, so it's important that tenants understand their rights and obligations before signing one. For example, a tenant may be responsible for paying utilities even if they're not specifically listed in the lease. If there is anything in the lease that the tenant doesn't understand, they should ask the landlord to explain it before signing.

Breaking a lease is generally discouraged, as it can damage the tenant's credit score and make it difficult to find future housing. However, there are some circumstances under which a tenant may be able to break a lease without penalty, such as if the property is uninhabitable or the landlord has breached the lease. If a tenant does need to break a lease, they should first consult their state's laws and then try to negotiate with the landlord.

Leases are an important part of the rental process, so it's vital that both landlords and tenants understand how they work. By familiarizing yourself with the basics of leases, you can help ensure a smooth and successful renting experience.

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