A Rental Lease Agreement Form is a written contract made between a landlord and a tenant. Rental Lease Agreements provide a detailed outline of the terms and conditions that a landlord imposes upon a tenant as well as the obligations of both parties. A Rental Agreement helps to protect the interests of a landlord and helps to maintain peaceful relationships between the landlord and the tenant.
Written Rental Lease Agreements are not generally required by law. In fact, some states consider verbal Rental Agreements to be equally enforceable. However, putting things into writing always makes things clearer for everyone and serves as physical proof and a point of reference if disputes or misunderstandings arise.
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A Rental Lease Agreement is a form of contract and is therefore legally binding. Rental Agreements obligate both the tenant and the landlord to follow its terms and conditions. This does not only protect the landlord’s interests but it also serves as a form of documentation. Below is a list of the important clauses that need to be incorporated within a Rental Agreement.
The Names of All Tenants Occupying the Space
Rental Agreements should contain and include the names of all occupants as a tenant in the Rental Agreement. Doing this makes them part of the contract and obligates them to follow the terms and conditions specified in the agreement. This is also another way for the landlord to be able to demand rent from other occupants instead of just from one person.
Specify the Number of Occupants Allowed
Rental Agreements must also provide clear and proper specifications of the allowed number of occupants in one rental unit. It should be clear to the tenant that only those whose names appear in the contract are allowed to reside in the leased space. This will guarantee that the people occupying your property are only those who have been thoroughly and properly screened.
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Length and Period of the Tenancy
If the tenancy is a rental, tenants will generally have to renew their lease every month. Leases, on the other hand, last for several months or years. A Rental Agreement should clearly specify if it is a mere rental or a lease and should indicate the expiration date.
Amount of Rent Due
Lease Contracts should also indicate the exact amount due each month together with its due date and the preferred method of payment. Penalties for late payments and bouncing checks must also be indicated in the contract.
Terms for advanced deposits as well as security deposits, their uses, and how they will be refunded back to the tenant have to be clearly defined in your Rental Agreement to avoid confusion and misunderstanding between you and your tenant.
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Terms for Repair and Maintenance
Landlords have to clearly define terms pertaining to the repair and maintenance of a rental unit, terms pertaining to damages incurred, and what happens if a tenant decides to install or build fixtures. Understandably, anything installed to the unit becomes the landlord’s property once the tenant’s rent is up.
House rules and restrictions such as certain guidelines for pets, the banning of conducting illegal business in within the property, excessive noise, or disruptive behavior have to be clearly defined in your Rental Agreement to avoid trouble among your tenants and damage to your property.
When a lease agreement is signed, the agreement acts as a legal and binding contract between the landlord and the tenant. Both parties are obligated to comply with the conditions being outlined in the agreement. Any action that violates any of the aforementioned terms can be grounds for any legal proceedings.
A Lease Agreement should state the privacy terms of the renter. If a landlord needs to get inside a property for maintenance, repairs, or to show a potential tenant around, proper permission and authorization should first be sought from the tenant.
Information pertaining to the tenant — including those that were collected during tenant screening should remain confidential and should not be used outside the purpose of tenancy.
Terminating a Rental Agreement
Both the tenant and the landlord have the right to terminate a lease before it even ends. The termination may be a mutual agreement or an agreement in the contract may not have been met. However, as with other contracts, terminating an agreement has to be made in a step by step process and should be done in writing to avoid disputes or lawsuits.
If you are a tenant, you have to make sure that you have a legal reason for terminating your lease or your landlord may have reasons to take you to court and not give you back your deposit. Which is why it is important to construct an agreement that is full-proof, sets proper boundaries and expectations. Our Free Rental Agreement Forms gives you just that. Our templates are printable and easy to access, you can customize the form you want to use according to your needs.
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