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Letter of Intent to Lease Residential Property

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Letter of Intent to Lease Residential Property

Updated January 11, 2024

A residential lease letter of intent is a document used to indicate a potential tenant’s desire to sign a binding lease agreement. A letter of intent is typically drafted by a landlord and given to lease applicants who show interest in renting the residential property.

The letter will inform the applicant of important rental conditions and provide a date by which the terms should be accepted. If the applicant finds the lease terms suitable, they can sign and return the document to the landlord thus affirming their intention to sign a formal agreement.

Rental Application – To be used when verifying a tenant before signing a lease agreement.

Table of Contents

What is a Residential Lease?

A residential lease is a legal document that places in writing the rental conditions negotiated between a landlord and tenant. Among these conditions will be the lease term which is generally one (1) year, although short-term contracts and month-to-month tenancies are quite common as well.

Residential tenants will be obligated to make payments on the due date specified in the lease in order to avoid late fees or face possible eviction. If the tenant fails to comply with their lease requirements, the landlord may terminate their tenancy and initiate an eviction proceeding in court. Note that state laws should always be referenced before attempting to end a lease prematurely.

Residential Lease Agreement

Download: PDF, MS Word (.docx), OpenDocument





Residential Lease Letter of Intent – Sample



Effective Date: May 14, 2019

RE: Intent to Lease Residential Property

This letter of intent to lease residential property (the “Letter of Intent”) represents the basic terms for a non-binding agreement between the Lessee and Lessor. After this Letter of Intent has been made, a formal agreement may be constructed to the benefit of the Parties involved.

I. The Lessee: Connie Daugherty (the “Lessee”).

II. The Lessor: Sharif Afreen (the “Lessor”).

III. Address of Premises: 1234 Fake St. unit 101, Jefferson City, Missouri 65101 (the “Premises”).

IV. Lease Term: The term of the lease shall be for a fixed period commencing on the 1st day of August, 2019 and expiring on the 1st day of August, 2020.

V. Base Rent: The base rent of Seven Hundred Dollars ($700) shall be paid monthly on the 1st of each month with the first payment due prior to or upon the commencement of the lease (the “Base Rent”).

VI. Expenses: In addition to the Base Rent, the Lessee shall be required to pay the following monthly expenses: Electricity and gas heating.

The Lessor shall be required to pay the following monthly expenses: All other expenses related to the Premises.

VII. Late Rent: If the Lessee fails to pay the Base Rent for more than 15 days after it is due, a late fee of Five Dollars ($5) may be charged each day until the overdue amount is paid.

VIII. Security Deposit: A security deposit in the amount of Two Hundred Dollars ($200) shall be due prior to or upon the signing of a lease.

IX. Subletting: The Lessee may not sublet the Premises without first obtaining the prior written consent of the Lessor.

X. Furnishing: The Lessor shall furnish the Premises with the following items: None.

XI. Appliances: The Lessor shall provide the following appliances in the Premises for the use of the Lessee: Fridge, stove, washer, dryer.

XII. Parking: The Lessor shall provide 1 parking space to the Lessee for a fee of Zero Dollars ($0).

XIII. Pets: The Lessee shall have the right to 2 pets on the Premises. The following types of pets are allowed: Cats, dogs, small caged animals.

XIV. Lease Termination: The Lessee shall have the right to terminate the lease by providing at least 90 days’ notice to the Lessor.

XV. Additional Provisions: The Lessee may use the basement storage facility to hold personal items during their tenancy.

XVI. Currency: All mentions of currency or the usage of the “$” icon shall be known as referring to the US Dollar.

XVII. Governing Law: This Letter of Intent shall be governed under the laws of the State of Missouri.

XVIII. Acceptance: If you are agreeable to the aforementioned terms, please sign and return a duplicate copy of this Letter of Intent by no later than June 1, 2019.


Lessee’s Signature ______________________ Date ______________________

Print Name ______________________


Lessor’s Signature ______________________ Date ______________________

Print Name ______________________

How to Write a Residential Lease Letter of Intent

Download: PDF, MS Word, Open Document

Step 1 – Acquire The Template To Issue A Residential Lease Letter Of Intent

The template on this page is downloadable in the formats defined on the buttons presented with the sample image on this page. Select “PDF,” “Word,” or “ODT.” Three links labeled as these file types have also been provided above for your convenience.


Step 2 – Produce The Sender’s Information As The Return Address

Generally, the Property Owner or Manager will be the entity generating and issuing this letter (as in our example) however, this letter can be issued by the Lessee as well. The first task, regardless of the party sending it, will be to identify the Company, Entity, or Individual who is sending this letter. This identity must be placed on the first available line while the official address for this Party should be recorded below the name. Three additional lines are available for this report. If more is needed, you may copy and paste additional lines to fit the full address properly. 


Step 3- Furnish This Letter’s Effective Date

The “Effective Date” attached to this letter will play an important role as an identifying detail in filing as well as to set the starting date to any timelines that may be involved. Thus, seek out the blank line bearing the “Effective Date” label then report the calendar date you wish used for the generation of this correspondence. 


Step 4 – Record The Recipient’s Mailing Information

The next series of empty lines will seek the exact mailing address where this letter is directed beginning with the full name of its Recipient. 


Step 5 – Solidify The Effect Of This Letter

This letter will present a basic summary of the lease it refers to and should be established as either binding or non-binding within the first paragraph. The bold words “Binding” and “Non-Binding” are presented with a corresponding checkbox in the first paragraph. If the Lessor and Lessee will both be expected to adhere to this letter then select the checkbox labeled “Binding” and leave the other blank.  If the cooperation of these parties will be at-will then mark the second checkbox (“Non-Binding”) to indicate that a court may not necessarily force adherence or should be expected to. 


Step 6 – Name The Proper Party As The Lessee

The body of this leter will be divided into sections or articles that aim to state the conditions, requirements, limitations, and term for the residential lease. the first article focuses on the Lessee (the Potential Tenant) of the property. Supply his or her name to the space that precedes the parentheses label “The Lessee” in “I. The Lessee.” 


Step 7 – Identify The Residential Property’s Lessor

The Lessor, otherwise known as the Landlord or Property Owner with the authority to lease the residence, must also be clearly identified for this letter’s purpose. The second article, titled “II. Lessor” provides an empty line where this entity’s legal identity should be recorded. This must be the Entity that will enter the lease with the Lessee. If this is a Property Management Company record the appropriate suffix (if any) required for this name. 


Step 8 – Document The Physical Location Of The Concerned Property

The property that is discussed in the lease and will be rented to the Lessee is the next topic to be handled. In “III. Address Of Premises.” Use the space presented immediately after this label to record the building number, the street/road/etc. name, the unit number (if applicable), city, state, and zip code where the residential property can be seen and visited. 


Step 9 – Define The Lease Term For The Property

A dialogue regarding the lease term in this document will be sought in article “IV. Lease Term.” A pair of checkbox statements will be used to determine and report when the concerned lease term will begin and when or how it will terminate. The checkbox corresponding to an accurate description should be marked as the definition of the lease term. If there will be a specific date range for the time when the Lessor will be renting the residential property to the Lessee through the concerned lease then mark the first checkbox here and supply the first calendar day when the lease will be in effect using the space before the words “Commencing On The…”   The first selection in “IV. Address Of Premises” continues with a request for month and year when this lease commences (to accompany the first calendar day)  produced on the next two blank spaces then, the final calendar date of the agreement’s effect reported across the three empty lines following “Expiring On The…” If this is not the case, then leave the first choice unselected and review the next one.  If the tenancy will be on a month-to-month basis then, mark the checkbox attached to the phrase “The Term Of The Lease…” then fill in the first calendar day, month, and year the lease is in effect on the three blank spaces provided. Reminder: only one of these checkbox statements should be selected then completed with information. 


Step 10 -Report The Base Rent Required By The Lease

The rent amount the Lessee is obligated to pay the Lessor will be addressed in “V. Base Rent.” The first available line of this paragraph requires the dollar amount expected every month by the Lessor to be written out. Notice a second empty line place in a set of parentheses with a dollar sign. Record the numerical value of the monthly rent on this line as well to solidify the expected amount.    Locate the space between the term “…Shall Be Paid Monthly On The” then complete it with the calendar day defining when rent must be paid. 


Step 11 – Discuss The Expense Obligations For The Residence

Naturally, some additional responsibilities will need to be taken care of to maintain a residence once the rent is paid. In “VI. Expenses,” this letter must display which party will be responsible for the additional “Expenses” (i.e. utilities). The first set of lines should be populated with a list of the utilities and additional expenses the Lessee must pay for while renting the property.  The second set of blank lines in “VI. Expenses” should bear a listing of property expenses that the Lessor must maintain for the Lessee while the lease is in effect. 


Step 12 – Disclose The Penalty For Late Rent Payments

The subject of lateness is a serious topic when it comes to the rent thus, locate this discussion in the concerned lease then attend to the article labeled as “VII. Late Rent.” Report the number of days when unpaid rent will be considered late on the first blank line in this article.  In addition to defining when rent will be declared late, this article will need the exact amount to be paid as a late fee whenever the rent is late. Write this amount on the line between the phrase “…A Late Fee Of” and the word “Dollars” then reproduce this same amount numerically after the dollar sign. 


Step 13 – Solidify The Required Security Deposit For The Residential Lease

The dollar value that must be submitted to the Lessor as a security against any property damage to the leased property while the agreement is in effect should be spelled out on the blank line in “VIII. Security Deposit.”  After you have written out the security amount, enter it as a numeral in the parentheses.


Step 14 – List All Furnishing The Lessor Provides

The next article to be dealt with is “X. Furnishing” where an inventory of all furniture the Lessor will provide with the property while it is leased. Produce this content on the lines in this section.


Step 15 – Account For All Appliances Included With The Property

If the Lessor will supply the premises with appliances, then each one must be documented. Use the blank line in “XI. Appliances” to present this information for review. 


Step 16 – Address The Issue Of Parking

Many residential properties will come with the added benefit of a one or more parking spaces available to the Lessee. If this is the case, locate article “XII. Parking” then enter the number of parking spaces available to the Lessee on the blank space following the term “The Lessor Shall Provide…”  The next two available lines require a report on how much must be paid for the parking available (written out then reported numerically) by the Lessee. Once done, one of two checkboxes must be checked in this statement to indicate whether this amount is due “Upon Signing A Lease” or “On a Monthly Basis.” In the example below, the Lessee will only need to pay the parking fee once at the time the lease is executed by signature. 


Step 18 – Provide The Lease Terms Applying To Lessee Pets

Many Lessees will wish to know the property’s policy on pets therefore, the thirteenth article (“XIII. Pets”) will enable such a report. First, record the number of pets the Lessee will be allowed to keep on the premises during the lease on the space after the words “…Shall Have The Right To.”  The blank line displayed in this section requires a list of different types of pets the Lessee may keep during the lease. 


Step 19 – Present the Conditions Of A Successful Lease Termination

The manner in which the lease terminates should be defined before the time comes. Usually, this will be covered in the lease agreement, thus locate this information then turn your attention to the article carrying the title “XIV. Lease Termination” where the Lessee’s ability to prematurely terminating and this action’s effect on his or her status should be discussed. One of the checkboxes will need to be marked to reflect the concerned agreement’s standing on this topic. If there are acceptable circumstances where the Tenant in this lease may choose to end his or her obligations to its contents, then mark the first checkbox and produce the number of “Days’ Notice” the Lessee must give the Lessor before doing so. Note, this choice is often used for a month-to-month tenancy. If the Lessee will not be permitted to terminate the rental agreement and must adhere to it until it terminates naturally then mark the second checkbox (corresponding to the phrase “The Lessee Shall Not Have…” It is worth mentioning that this selection will usually be paired with a fixed-term lease, however, it does not overrule any laws that would state otherwise. (i.e. the Lessee is in physical danger as a result of renting the property).


Step 20 – Supply Additional Documentation For Undiscussed Lease Provisions

The “XV. Additional Provisions” section is placed to receive documentation of any topics contained in the lease but not yet discussed. All such lease terms, restrictions, or additions should be recorded on the blank lines making up this article. 


Step 21 – Solidify The State Where This Letter And The Lease Is Governed

The concerned lease will be under the jurisdiction of a state court system. In “XVII. Governing Law,” fill in the name of this jurisdiction’s State on the blank line in this article. 


Step 22 – A Formal Acceptance Date To This Content Must Be Documented

The final article requiring attention is “XVIII. Acceptance.” This statement requires a presentation of this letter’s due date. Once it has been sent, the Recipient (Lessee) must sign then return it to the Sender (Lessor). The last calendar day when this letter may be received as a valid intention should be furnished on the blank line attached to the term “…No Later Than.” 


Step 23 – The Lessee’s Signature Is Required To Prove Intent

Upon the receipt of this letter, the Lessee must review it thoroughly. If Lessee has decided to follow through with the lease as it is represented in this paperwork, then he or she must sign the “Lessee’s Signature” line. The “Date” line will require the month, day, and year of signing.    As a measure of clarification, the Lessee should also print his or her name on this document. 


Step 24 – The Property’s Lessor Must Verify This Letter’s Contents

The Lessor must sign this letter in order as a declaration of its authenticity. The next signature line is reserved for the Lessor. Notice that the Lessor has signed and dated this document before sending it to the Lessee so that it will become effective upon the Lessee’s signature. The Lessee will be expected to return this letter. If the Lessor preferred he or she may decide to sign it upon receipt. The order of the signatures and the deadlines are based solely upon the contents provided by its Preparer above.  The Lessor must print his or her name. This will aid in identifying him or her as the Signature Party.