A residential rental lease agreement is a contract between two parties where one party (the lessor) gives possession and use of a piece of residential property to another party (the lessee) for a specific duration. It may be a written or an oral agreement. This is a document that is often overlooked until the time comes to settle differences in a court of law. If you are looking at giving a home out on rent, the first thing you should do is make sure that everything is written down correctly.
There could be some serious problems if you do not have a signed copy of the lease. Before signing anything, make sure that you read over the entire document completely and verify that it contains all the important sections.
Top Questions Asked About Residential Lease Agreement
Here are some important questions asked about a residential rental lease agreement.
- Who are the parties involved?
The landlord and tenant are the two separate entities or parties involved in a rental relationship. A landlord is someone who owns real property while a tenant is someone who rents the property.
In order to make sure both parties understand their rights and responsibilities, they need to have a written contract in the form of residential agreement. The landlord should be identified as “Landlord” and the tenant should be identified as ‘Tenant’ in the document that they sign together.
- What does each party agree to do?
Both parties agree to abide by the terms and policies mentioned in the agreement, such as the tenant agreeing to pay rent and keeping the premises clean.
If the tenant fails to keep the premises clean, then the landlord may terminate the tenancy (i.e., evict) the tenant without any further notice. In most cases, the tenant is responsible to pay for the utility bills, maintain the heating/cooling system, pay taxes, and not damage the building.
- What are the terms of the lease?
In addition to the above mentioned obligations, landlords generally require tenants to pay a security deposit and sign a standard lease agreement.
A residential lease agreement should cover the length of time the lease is valid, what happens if the tenant moves out before the end of the lease term, how much rent is owed, and other relevant information.
- Who is responsible for repairs?
If the landlord makes repairs to the property, he or she is responsible for them. If the tenant damages the property, however, he or she is liable for the cost of repair. The tenant has to pay the repair costs from his / her own pocket.
- How long does a residential rental lease last?
This type of legal document sets forth the terms and conditions under which a person may use another’s property. Leases can range in duration from a few months to several years.
- Can I renew my lease?
Yes, you can always renew your lease. You should contact your landlord at least 30 days prior to the expiration date to notify him or her of your intentions. Landlords often charge a fee for renewals.
- Is a lease binding?
No, a residential rental lease is not automatically binding until signed by both parties. Once the lease is signed, it becomes binding on both parties.
You may download commercial lease agreement templates and free forms online here.