A Tenant's Guide to Lease AgreementsPosted by Jordan Muela in Property Management Articles
There are many important factors that go into creating an in-depth lease that covers all the rules and regulations of your property. A lease agreement is written between the landlord and the tenant. The agreement explains the landlord’s right and responsibilities, as well as the tenant’s rights and responsibilities. It’s recommended to go over the lease with the future tenant and highlight substantial details.
- Essential Terms for a Lease Agreement
- Apartment Lease Guide
- The Importance of a Tenant Lease
- Terms to Include in Your Lease
- Lease Tips for the Tenant
- What to Include in a Tenant/Landlord Lease
- How to Tell if a Lease is Legal
- Lease Agreement Frequently Asked Questions
- Printable Sample Rental Lease Agreement
Terms included in the lease
When a lease agreement is being created for a future tenant, there are some basic terms of tenancy that should be included. Having the names of all tenants is essential for a lease agreement and includes all adults living in the rental unit, making each tenant legally responsible for all terms agreed upon in the lease.
A limit of occupancy may also be included on a lease. This agreement clearly states that each rental unit is the residence of the individuals agreed to on the lease and their minor children. This give the tenant grounds to evict any persons who move in a relative or friend without your permission.
The terms of the tenancy are also an important factor that state if the rental agreement is a fixed-term lease. Leases typically last a year while some rental agreements run month to month.
Security deposits and other fees
Financial information such as the rent amount, security deposit and various tenant fees should also be clearly stated in the lease agreement. A security deposit is money paid in advance, usually equal to the monthly rent amount, which is taken from the tenant prior to moving in the rental unit in case of damage or non-payment. It’s legally required in some states to include details of where the deposit is begin held and whether interest on the deposit will be paid back to the tenant.
A portion of the lease agreement should include a tenant’s responsibilities for maintenance and repair. This should involve the tenant keeping the premises sanitary and clean and paying for any damages that are created by his or her neglect. The tenant should be required to contact the landlord in case of dangerous conditions with specific details on the cause of the problem and repair requests. It’s also recommended to include any repair limitations if needed in the case of installing built-in electronics such as dishwashers or painting the walls without permission. Some landlords do not allow pets in their rental units. These special restrictions should be clearly stated in the tenant’s lease agreement.
Tenant & Landlord Rights & Responsibilities
Evictions and lease buyouts
When accepting a job as a landlord, you may run into unruly or damaging tenants. Evictions are sometimes needed to remove these tenants from the rental property. This communication is typically between the landlord and the tenant. Depending on the state laws and jurisdiction, a landlord must win an eviction lawsuit before any legal actions can take place.
A lease “buyout” is another situation that a landlord may need to deal with when leasing to tenants. This type of situation involves the tenant paying the landlord a set sum of money to end his or her lease before the lease agreement is over. This can occur for a number of reasons, such as when the tenant is unable to make the monthly payments or the need to relocate. If the landlord agrees to the payment, they can accept the lease buy out.
- Lease Termination and Renewal
- Overview of the Eviction Process
- Self-Help Eviction Forms
- How to Evict a Non-Paying Tenant
Each tenant is covered under the Tenant Bill of Rights. The Tenant Bill of Rights claims that each tenant has the right to a series of factors when renting any property from a landlord. The tenant has the right to:
- have the landlord perform covenants, or agreement that imposes legal obligations to either one or both parties.
- possession of the rental premises, starting at the beginning of the least term.
- quiet enjoyment without interference from the landlord.
- rent a leased unit that is habitable, to be sure that the rental meets all housing codes.
- not to be evicted by the landlord for practicing any of the above given rights.
The landlord must also follow strict discrimination laws. This means that the landlord may not refuse housing to any individuals because of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or other personal factor.
- Fair Housing Laws
- Tenants Rights and Responsibilities
- Tenant-Landlord Handbook
- Tenant’s Bill of Rights
- Fighting Rental Housing Discrimination
- When Refusal to Rent is Discrimination
Breaking the lease
Unfortunately, lease agreements cannot always be fulfilled and some tenants find the need to end their lease early. You may be able to break your lease legally if the reasoning also means that the landlord broke the rules by failing to uphold safe and sanitary conditions. Depending on the length of the lease, the tenant may be able to make a deal with the landlord that results in little or no penalties to each side involved.
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- Property Management Fees - Part II
- Contract Termination
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- What to Look for In a Property Management Contract
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