A rental agreement, or “lease”, is a legal document that outlines an arrangement between an owner of real estate, the “landlord”, and someone else that is willing to pay rent while occupying the property, the “tenant”. It is common for the landlord to ask for the tenant’s employment, rental, and credit history through the Rental Application before a lease is signed to ensure they are credible. If approved by the landlord, both parties will come to together to agree and sign a formal agreement at which time the Security Deposit shall be due along with any pro-rated or first (1st) month’s rent.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Table of Contents
- Agreements by State
- The Leasing Process
- Lease Topics
- Security Deposit
- Landlord’s Access
- Disclosures and Addendums
- Late Payment (Non-Payment of Rent)
- Non-Compliance (Lease Violation)
- Landlord-Tenant Laws
- How to Write (Fill-in)
Condominium (Condo) Rental Agreement – Unit that is owned by an individual in a complex with other individually owned residences.
Commercial Lease Agreements – For the use of any type of retail, office, or industrial space.
Lease-Purchase (Lease to Own) Agreement – Agreement that structures rental payments in combination with payments to own the property.
Month to Month Lease Agreement – Also known as a “tenancy-at-will” it allows the tenant and landlord to have a binding arrangement that may be altered with thirty (30) days’ notice.
Parking Space Rental Agreement – For an automobile, recreational vehicle (RV), all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or motorcycle only.
Rental Application – Should be used by the landlord to screen a tenant for employment history, criminal background, credit check, and to reference prior landlords or managers before a leased is signed.
Room Rental (Roommate) Agreement – For a roommate seeking others to join in paying rent in a residential unit together. This may be completed by a new roommate or as a collective group.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – Typically for a one (1) year period but may be for any specified period as agreed upon by all parties involved.
Sublease (Sublet) Agreement – The renting of space a tenant has to someone else.
Termination Lease Letter (30-Day Notice) – Notice used to terminate a month to month rental agreement. If the landlord is seeking to terminate the tenant due to default in their lease they must use an eviction form.
Vacation (Short-Term) Rental Agreement – For a term that usually ranges only for a few days between an owner of a home, apartment, condominium, or any other type of residence.
Weekly Rental Agreement – A tenant who resides in residential space with rent being paid every seven (7) days.
Step 1 – The Tenant Views the Space
Before a lease agreement is drawn up, the tenant will usually view the space and deem it acceptable to their living standards and make a verbal offer to the real estate agent, manager, or landlord. The verbal offer will usually be in reference to a monthly rental amount.
Step 2 – Rental Application
If the offer is conditionally accepted, the landlord will move ahead and ask for the tenant to fill-in a Rental Application and pay a small fee (commonly used to only cover the cost of showing the property and run a background check).
Step 3 – Run a Tenant Background Check
The landlord is highly recommended to run a background of the tenant’s credit, background, and criminal history. Use the following resources to conduct your search:
- Limited Background Check (Free) – VerticalRent.com
- Detailed Background Check ($25 per screening) – MySmartMove.com
Step 4 – Verify References
The landlord should contact past employers, past landlords, and any non-family references provided in the application. This will give the landlord an idea of the character of the individual(s) and if they are going to be quiet or noisy neighbors.
Step 5 – Writing the Lease
If the tenant(s) meet the landlord’s qualifications a lease should be drafted (Specific Instructions to Fill-in our Residential Lease). The landlord and tenant should meet to discuss the specific terms and conditions of the lease, mainly consisting of the:
- Fee(s) – In reference to parking, pets, trash, etc.
- Monthly Rent Amount ($)
- Move-in Date – The day the tenant will take occupancy of the space.
- Security Deposit – This is determined by the landlord but cannot be more than the Maximum Set by Your State.
- Term – Month-to-month, yearly, etc.
- Utilities – Electricity, water/sewer, heating, etc.
Step 6 – Executing the Lease
The lease is not required to have witnesses by the State (although it is always recommended to have at least one). At the time of authorization the landlord and tenant should exchange the following:
- The Landlord
Access (keys) to the premises and all common areas (unless the occupancy does not occur until a later time)
- The Tenant
Security deposit (if required), 1st month’s rent, and any pro-rated rent (if the tenant is moving-in before the lease start date).
Step 7 – Taking Occupancy
Upon move-in the tenant should perform a walk-thru of the property and list any repairs needed. This is to ensure that the landlord does not bill the tenant for pre-existing damages. The tenant should have the landlord acknowledge an needed repairs by signing this form.
- Download – Move-in Checklist (Inspection)
A Move-in Checklist (Inspection) is required in Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin
Without this checklist completed, the tenant will have no evidence to support that any damage present at the end of the term was not the fault of the tenant.
When writing a lease agreement, it is best to have the main items, such as rent and the length of the lease, to be pre-negotiated between the parties to avoid the chance of having to re-write the document.
The main lease topics are as follows (alphabetical)
Alterations – Most landlords do not allow modifications to the property. And if alterations are completed by the tenant that they should be returned back to the original status at the start of the lease.
- For Example – If a tenant decides to paint the apartment red and the original color was white, usually the landlord will ask for the tenant to simply pay for the property to be repainted.
Appliances – The landlord should describe all appliances on the premises prior to move-in such as microwaves, washer/dryer, etc.
Conditions (Additional) – If there are any other items that have not been mentioned then they should be listed lastly and before the signature area.
- Verbal Agreements – Oral agreements are not honored in the court of law. The landlord and tenant should have all negotiated items listed in the contract.
Furnishings – If the property was furnished upon the tenant moving-in, all items should be listed such as couches, beds, chairs, desks, musical instruments, and any other valuable items. This is to ensure that upon move-out that the tenant does not vacate with property of the landlord.
- Waterbeds – Due to the consequences of liquid filled furnishings over the years it is recommended that the landlord bar this type of furniture on the premises. Water damage can be very costly, and if enough is leaked, mold can grow quickly underneath carpeting in the right conditions.
Governing Law – Leases are governed on a State by State basis. It is always recommended to view the laws in your municipality but most of the requirements and/or disclosures will be required on the State-level.
Guests – A maximum number of people that the tenant is allowed to have on the property should be included as to not encourage constant parties or loud neighbors.
- Maximum Time Period – The landlord may also set a maximum time-frame for how long guests may stay on the property.
House Rules – Mainly for roommate situations, if there are any house rules such as: cleaning times, common areas, quiet times, or any other regulations it should be listed.
Insurance (Bond) – The landlord is recommended, and required in some States, to disclose the type and amount of insurance is covered on the tenant’s behalf.
Late Charges – Electing to have a late fee is a way landlords try to penalize a tenant for not paying their rent in a timely manner. Some States have limits on how much a landlord may charge but it is always recommended to have a fee.
- Grace-Period – Some States have a “grace-period” allowing the tenant a few days to pay after the rent is due. During such period the landlord is not allowed to charge a late fee.
Maintenance – In certain situations, such as the renting of a single-family home, the landlord or tenant may be obligated to conduct timely property upkeep such as lawn care, snow plowing/shoveling, etc.
Monthly Rent – Typically paid on the first (1st) of the month.
- Payment – Probably the most popular item stated in the lease. The rental payment due each month should be clearly stated numerically ($) and verbally in dollars much like how you write a check so that there isn’t any miscommunication.
- Due Date – The day of the month should also be mentioned which is most commonly the first (1st).
- Payment Location – How the payment should be made should clearly be stated in the lease.
Notices – If the tenant or landlord violate any part of the lease the parties should both have addresses (mailing and/or e-mail) of where each may be able to send legal notice.
Parking – If there is parking on the premises the landlord may or may not offer a spot for the tenant.
- Parking Fee – In most urban locations the landlord will commonly charge a parking fee.
Parties – In the first (1st) paragraph the parties should be introduced. This should mention the landlord and tenant along with their legal mailing addresses.
- Occupants – If the tenant has children, family, or friends that will be living in the residence but not a signor on the lease they would be classified as occupants and not tenants.
Pets – If animals are allowed on the premises it should be stated. In an effort to curb any wild animals the lease should mention the exact types of animals and how many are allowed on the property.
- Pet Fee/Deposit – Due to the extra wear-and-tear animals have on a property the landlord may elect to have a fee or deposit in the chance major damage is caused.
Property Description – In the following paragraph the address of the premises should be described thoroughly including number (#) of bedrooms, bathrooms, if the property is shared, common areas, and any other details that should be written.
Receipt of Agreement – The lease is not valid unless all parties have received receipt and acknowledgement of the lease. Make sure that all parties have received a copy and the form will become legally valid.
Security Deposit – The amount that is due at the time of lease signing. This is usually equal to one (1) or two (2) month’s rent and is regulated in most States to not be more than a couple months’ rent.
- Refer to the Maximum Allowed Amounts to see how much a landlord may request in your State.
Sub-Letting – The act of subletting is the tenant acting as the landlord and re-leasing the property to another individual, also known as the “sublessee”. This is not allowed in most leases, although if it is allowed, usually requires the written consent of the landlord to ensure any new sublessee is credible.
- Airbnb – With the popularity of Airbnb there is always the temptation by the tenant to make additional income by renting the property on a short-term basis. This should be established in the agreement to ensure the terms are clear whether it is allowed or not.
Term – This is the length of the lease, and should be described. There are two (2) types:
- Fixed Term – Most commonly being one (1) year but maybe any time-period as agreed upon by the parties.
- Month-to-Month – Allows the tenant and landlord to have a freely on-going basis with either party being allowed to cancel within a certain time-period (either stated in the agreement or by using the State’s minimum requirement). Most month-to-month tenancies allow for either party to cancel with at least 30 to 60 days’ notice.
Termination – In most standard leases there is no option for the tenant to cancel the lease. In the event there is an option, usually it will come at a fee or cost to the tenant.
Utilities – The landlord may opt to pay all, some, or none of the tenant’s utilities. Most will provide some, such as water/sewer, but most will elect the tenant to decide for themselves whether cable, internet, and any other they decide to have.
A security deposit is money that is given by a tenant to the landlord at the start of a lease to guarantee that the tenant will fulfill the its conditions throughout the term. The security deposit could be subject to withholding if the tenant:
- Does not pay rent for an indefinite period and defaults;
- Outstanding balances at the end of the term;
- Repairs needed in the property due to tenant damage;
- or Tenant default.
The security deposit is subject to the laws in the State where the property is located. Most States have a Maximum Amount and Returning Time-Period that the Landlord must follow.
The security deposit must not exceed the amounts for the following States:
- AL – 1 month’s Rent – § 35-9A-201
- AK – 2 months’ rent. If monthly rent is over $2,000 then no maximum – § 34.03.070
- AZ – 1.5 months’ rent – § 33-1321
- AR – 2 months’ rent – § 18-16-304
- CA – 2 months’ rent if unfurnished, 3 months’ rent if furnished – 1950.5
- CO – No maximum
- CT – 1 month’s rent if 62 years or older, if younger 2 months’ rent – § 47a-21
- DE – 1 month’s rent for yearly agreements, no cap for tenancy-at-will – Title 25 § 5514
- FL – No maximum
- GA – No maximum
- HI – One month’s rent (excl. pet fee) – § 521-44
- ID – No maximum
- IL – No maximum
- IN – No maximum
- IA – 2 months’ rent – § 562A.12
- KS – If furnished 1.5 months’ rent, if unfurnished 1 month’s rent – § 58-2550
- KY – No maximum
- LA – No maximum
- ME – 2 months’ rent – § 6032
- MD – 2 months’ rent – § 8–203
- MA – 1 month’s rent – Chapter 186, Section 15B
- MI – 1.5 months’ rent – § 554.602
- MN – No maximum
- MS – No maximum
- MO – 2 months’ rent – Section 535.300
- MT – No maximum
- NE – 1 month’s rent (excl. any pet fee) – § 76-1416
- NV – 3 months’ rent – NRS 118A.242
- NH – 1 month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater – RSA 540-A:6)
- NJ – 1.5 months’ rent – § 46:8-21.2
- NM – 1 month’s rent, no maximum for leases more than 1 year – § 47-8-24
- NY – No maximum
- NC – 2 months’ rent, if a tenancy at will then 1.5 months’ rent – § 42-51
- ND – 1 month’s rent for no pets, with pets up to 2 months’ rent – § 47-16-07.1
- OH – No maximum
- OK – No maximum
- OR – No maximum
- PA – 2 months’ rent – § 250.511a
- RI – 1 month’s rent – § 34-18-19
- SC – No maximum
- SD – 1 month’s rent – § 43-32-6.1
- TN – No maximum
- TX – No maximum
- UT – No maximum
- VT – No maximum
- VA – 2 months’ rent
- WA – No maximum
- WV – No maximum
- WI – No maximum
- WY – No maximum
- AL – 60 Days – § 35-9A-201
- AK – 14 days if tenant leaves on-time, 30 days if not – § 34.03.070
- AZ – 14 days from move-out inspection (excl. weekends and holidays) – § 33-1321
- AR – 60 days from termination of tenancy – § 18-16-305
- CA – 60 days from move-out – 1950.5
- CO – 1 month if mentioned in lease, 2 months if not – § 38-12-103 & § 38-12-104
- CT – 30 days from move-out or 15 days from receiving tenant’s address – § 47a-21
- DE – 20 days from termination of lease agreement – Title 25 § 5514
- FL – If deductions 30 days, if no deductions then 15 days – § 83.49(3)(a)
- GA – 1 month from the termination date – § 44-7-34
- HI – 14 days from the termination date – § 521-44
- ID – 30 days if stated in the lease, if not then 21 days – § 6-321
- IL – 30 days if deductions, 45 days if no deductions – 765 ILCS 710
- IN – 45 days from termination date – § 32-31-3-12
- IA – 30 days from vacating the property – § 562A.12(3)(a)
- KS – 30 days from the lease termination date – § 58-2550(b)
- KY – 60 days from the termination date – Statute 383.580
- LA – 1 month from the termination date – Revised Statute 9:3251
- ME – 30 days if a fixed lease, 21 days if tenancy-at-will – § 6033
- MD – 45 days from the termination date – § 8–203
- MA – 30 days from the date of vacating – Chapter 186, Section 15B
- MI – 30 days from the end of occupancy – § 554.609
- MN – 3 weeks from the termination date – § 504B.211
- MS – 45 days from the end of tenancy – § 89-8-21
- MO – 30 days from the termination of tenancy – Section 535.300
- MT – 30 days if deductions, 10 days if no deductions – § 70-25-202
- NE – 14 days of move-out – § 76-1416
- NV – 30 days from the end of tenancy – NRS 118A.242
- NH – 30 days excl. if property is shared with landlord, then 20 days – RSA 540-A:7
- NJ – 30 days from the termination date – § 46:8-21.1
- NM – 30 days from the termination date – § 47-8-24
- NY – ‘Reasonable time’ as stated in the Tenants’ Rights Guide
- NC – 30 days if no deductions, if deductions then an additional 30 days – § 42-52
- ND – 30 days from the termination date – § 47-16-07.1
- OH – 30 days from the termination date – § 5321.16
- OK – 30 days from the termination date – § 41-115
- OR – 31 days from the termination date – § 90.300
- PA – 30 days from the termination date – § 250.512
- RI – 20 days from the termination date – § 34-18-19
- SC – 30 days from the termination date – § 27-40-410
- SD – 14 days. If deductions then 45 days from the termination date – § 43-32-24
- TN – 30 days from the termination date – § 66-28-301
- TX – 30 days from the tenant vacating the property – § 92.103
- UT – 30 days from the termination date – § 57-17-3
- VT – 14 days excluding seasonal property which is 60 days – § 4461
- VA – 45 days from the termination date – § 55-248.15:1
- WA – 14 days from tenant’s move-out – § 59.18.280
- WV – 60 days unless property is re-rented within 45 days, then immediately – § 37-6A-1
- WI – 21 days from tenant’s vacancy – § 134.06
- WY – 30 days from lease termination or 15 days from receiving the tenant’s forwarding address, whichever is lesser – § 1-21-1208(A)
The landlord is able to enter the tenant’s property during the course of the lease as long as they provide sufficient notice as provided by the State.
The notice required is as follows:
- AL – 2 days – § 35-9A-303
- AK – 24 hours – § 34.03.140
- AZ – 48 hours – § 33-1343
- AR – *No law
- CA – 24 hours for non-emergency, 48 for the move-out inspection – 1954
- CO – *No law
- CT – Reasonable notice – § 47a-16
- DE – 48 hours – Title 25 § 5509
- FL – 12 hours – § 83.53
- GA – *No law
- HI – 2 days – § 521-53
- ID – *No law
- IL – *No law
- IN – Reasonable notice – § 32-31-5-6
- IA – 24 hours – § 562A.19
- KS – Reasonable notice – § 58-2557
- KY – 2 days – Statute 383.615
- LA – *No law
- ME – 24 hours – § 6025
- MD – *No law
- MA – *Reasonable notice – Sanitary Code (410.810)
- MI – *No law
- MN – Reasonable notice – § 504B.211
- MS – *No law
- MO – *No law
- MT – 24 hours – § 70-24-312
- NE – 1 day – § 76-1423
- NV – 24 hours – NRS 118A.330
- NH – Reasonable notice – RSA 540-A:3
- NJ – 1 day – § 5:10-5.1
- NM – 24 hours – § 47-8-24
- NY – *No law
- NC – *No law
- ND – Reasonable notice – § 47-16-07.3
- OH – 24 hours – § 5321.04
- OK – 1 day – § 41-128
- OR – 24 hours – § 90.322
- PA – *No law
- RI – 2 days – § 34-18-26
- SC – 24 hours – § 27-40-530
- SD – *No law
- TN – 24 hours – § 66-28-403
- TX – *No law
- UT – 24 hours – § 57-22-4
- VT – 48 hours – § 4460
- VA – 24 hours – § 55-248.18
- WA – 2 days for repairs, 1 day for showings – § 59.18.150
- WV – *No law
- WI – Advance notice – § 704.05(2)
- WY – *No law
*It should be noted that just because there is no law in a specific State it does not mean that the landlord can take advantage of their right to not be appropriate when entering the property of the tenant. In addition, the landlord is advised to always provide at least some notice in order to maintain a healthy landlord-tenant relationship.
Most States have required disclosures that the landlord must give to the tenant. For example, Florida requires all landlords to offer the tenant to fill-in a move-in inspection form to reduce the amount of landlord-tenant disputes at the end of the lease. Most disclosures that are required usually have to do with a risk that is common in the area.
Assignment of Lease – Pursuant to the terms of the tenant’s contract, they may be able to add an amendment that assigns all rights, use, and liability to another individual.
Eviction Forms – If the landlord should need to notify the tenant that they have made a violation. The notice may be used to warn or inform them that they need to vacate by a particular date.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Form required under Federal Law for all residences constructed prior to 1978. Before 1978, it was common for lead-based paint to be used in the interior of homes. Since then it has been found that lead does not promote brain function and is especially harmful to minor children. If at anytime there is chipping or the peeling of lead-paint, it is imperative that the landlord remediate the property as soon as possible.
Move-in / Move-out Inspection Checklist – Required in some States to make the tenant and landlord perform an examination at the beginning and end of the lease to determine when all damage was created on the property.
Notice to Enter – Usually given to the tenant 24 to 48 hours before the landlord shall need to enter the property for an inspection or maintenance reason.
Personal Guarantee (Guaranty) – In the chance the lease is co-signed by another person this addendum makes the co-signer personally liable for the payments in the lease.
Rent Receipt – Validates that the tenant paid their monthly rent.
Rent Increase Letter – Form used to raise the rent for a tenant in a residential dwelling. Notice must be given in accordance with the property’s respective State laws.
Security Deposit Receipt – At the beginning of a rental period the Landlord will usually require a deposit by the Tenant(s) in the chance of non-payment or if there is material damage to the Property at the end of the Lease.
Security Deposit Return Letter – At the end of a rental period, if the landlord collected a security deposit, the landlord will need to give back the funds within a certain time period as mandated by the State. This form should have the total amount of funds, plus any interest, minus any damage to the premises by the tenant.
If there is late payment by the tenant the landlord has a couple of options. Firstly, they may accept a late fee for the delay in payment. Secondly and depending on the the laws in the State, the landlord may give an official Notice to Pay or Quit stating the landlord has the right to terminate the lease if the tenant does not pay by the end of the time-period stated.
Most States have a fixed minimum time-period anywhere from 3 to 30 days.
If there is a violation committed by the tenant that is unrelated to late payment then the landlord my give the tenant Notice to Comply or Quit. This gives the tenant a certain amount of time to handle the issue or face eviction action.
- 2nd Offense – In some States, if the tenant commits an offense twice within the lease term or within a specified time period (as determined by the State) the landlord will have the option to cancel the lease immediately. In States where this is applicable, the Landlord should make the tenant aware of their first warning.
- Illegal Offense – If the tenant was caught by the landlord, or by law enforcement, of conducting illegal acts on the property then the tenant may be liable for immediate eviction. If the tenant does not move out, the
If you wish to lookup laws, click on the links below to view the laws, guidelines, and handbooks provided by your State.
*The links below may not represent the most current and full text of the laws in the State and should be used as a reference and is not legal advice.
- AL – Title 35, Chapter 9A (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
- AK – Title 34, Chapter 3 (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
- AZ – Title 33, Chapter 10 (Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
- AR – Title 18, Subtitle 2, Chapter 17 (Arkansas Residential Landlord-Tenant Act)
- CA – A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities
- CO – Title 38, Article 12 – Tenant & Landlord
- CT – Chapter 830 – Rights and Responsibilities of Landlord and Tenant
- DE – Title 25 (Landlord-Tenant Code)
- FL – Title VI, Chapter 83, Part II – Residential Tenancies
- GA – Title 44, Chapter 7 – Landlord and Tenant
- HI – Chapter 521 Residential Landlord-Tenant Code
- ID – Landlord and Tenant Guidelines
- IL – 765 ILCS 705/ – Landlord and Tenant Act
- IN – Title 32, Article 31 (Landlord-Tenant Relations)
- IA – Chapter 562A (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law)
- KS – Chapter 58, Article 25 (Landlords and Tenants)
- KY – KRS Chapter 383 (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
- LA – Attorney General’s Guide to Landlord and Tenant Laws
- ME – Title 14, Chapter 710 (Rental Property)
- MD – Real Property
- MA – Chapter 186 (Estates for years and at will)
- MI – Chapter 554 (Real and Personal Property)
- MN – Chapter 504B (Landlord and Tenant)
- MS – Title 89 > Chapter 7 – Landlord and Tenant
- MO – Chapter 441 (Landlord and Tenant)
- MT – Chapter 24. Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
- NE – Article 14, Landlord and Tenant
- NV – Chapter 118A (Landlord and Tenant)
- NH – Chapter 540 (Actions Against Tenants)
- NJ – Title 46 (2013 Revised Statutes “PROPERTY”)
- NM – Owner-Resident Relations
- NY – Article 7: Landlord and Tenant
- NC – Chapter 42 (Landlord and Tenant)
- ND – Chapter 47-16 (Leasing of Property)
- OH – Chapter 5321 (Titled: Landlords and Tenants)
- OK – Title 41 (Landlord and Tenant)
- OR – Title 10, Chapter 90 (Residential Landlord & Tenant)
- PA – Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 (Title 68)
- RI – Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (Chapter 34-18)
- SC – Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (Title 27, Chapter 40)
- SD – Chapter 43-32 (Lease of Real Property)
- TN – Title 66, Chapter 28 (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
- TX – Residential Title 8, Chapter 92
- UT – Title 57 – Real Estate
- VT – Title 9, Chapter 137: Residential Rental Agreements
- VA – Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
- WA – State Laws (Title 59)
- WV – State Codes Chapter 37 (Real Property)
- WI – Chapter 704 (Landlord & Tenant)
- WY – Article 12 (Residential Rental Property)
Step 1 – Download
The Parties – Enter:
- Landlord’s name
- Street address
- List the names of all tenant(s)
Step 2 – Occupants
- Enter the names of all occupants who shall reside upon the premises in addition to the tenant(s)
Step 3 – Offer to Rent
Landlord must complete the following:
- Enter the type of residence to be rented
- Mailing/Street address
- Number of bathrooms
- Number of bedrooms
Step 4 – Purpose
In this agreement the tenant may only use the premises as a residential dwelling. If the tenant is allowed to do other things in the space, such as run a business or conduct any type of commercial use, it must be mentioned.
Step 5 – Furnishings
- Check one indicating if there will be any furnishings.
- List any furnishings to remain as part of the rental payment
Step 6 – Appliances
- Check the appropriate box indicating whether appliances will be furnished
- List any appliances that may be furnished, in the lines provided, that may be included in the rental payment
Step 7 – Lease Term
- Commencement Date
- Ending Date
Step 8 – Rent
- Amount of rental installments due each month
- Date rent payments are due
- In the lines provided, the landlord shall enter any instructions for rental payments (method, location, etc)
Step 9 – Non-Sufficient Fund Check Returns
- Check the box that would apply
- If there shall be a fee charged by the landlord for a returned check, enter the amount
Step 10 – Late Fee
- Check the applicable box
- If there will be a fee charged for late rental payments, enter the grace period
Step 11 – First Month’s Rent
Select and check the preferred box
Step 12 – Pre-Payment
- Check the box that would apply
- Should pre-payment be required:
- Enter the dollar amount
- Provide the date of the beginning of the time period in dd/m/yy
- Provide the ending date in dd/mm/yy format
Step 13 – Proration Period
- Check the box that would best indicate the terms of proration (if any)
Step 14 – Security Deposit
The Security deposit amount should be entered in this area in dollar format. This amount may have a maximum depending on the State the property is located. In addition, the deposit may have to be returned within a set period depending on the respective State’s guidelines.
Step 15 – Possession
The tenant has the right to ‘possess’ the property during the term of the lease and the landlord is not allowed to disrupt this process unless they shall be considered in default.
Step 16 – Access
General language that gives the tenant rights to the property during the course of the rental period. In addition, the landlord may restrict the tenant from making any duplicate sets of keys.
Step 17 – Move-in Inspection/Checklist
If the tenant will be filling-in a move-in inspection to write any current damage or repairs needed it should be marked on this form with both the landlord and tenant signing on the bottom acknowledging the maintenance issues.
- If this box is marked yes the Move-in Checklist (Inspection) Form must be attached to this agreement.
Step 18 – Subletting
This is to determine if the tenant is allowed to re-rent the property with or without the consent of the landlord. The standard practice in real estate management is to not allow the tenant to have this right, but in some cases the landlord may elect to have the tenant the right to sublet.
Step 19 – Other
- Abandonment – The tenant is not allowed to leave the premises for a certain number of days, and if they do, it should be noted to the landlord. This is more for maintenance purposes as the landlord does not want the property to be neglected for a long period of time by the tenant which could result in unwanted damages.
- Assignment – Simply states that the tenant cannot assign or transfer the lease to another party.
Step 20 – Parking
Check the box that would indicate parking arrangements and cost for parking, if any.
Step 21 – Right of Entry
The landlord has the right to enter the premises for any repair or inspection (within reason) by giving notice.
Step 22 – Sale of Property
Check the box that the landlord would prefer and enter the number of days notice required if needed.
Step 23 – Utilities
Landlord must specify in writing, the utilities and services they shall provide (if any).
Step 24 – Maintenance, Repairs or Alterations
If the tenant, for whatever reason, decides to make alterations to the property (*For Example: painting the living room red) then the tenant must restore the premises at the end of the term to the same as it was in the beginning (*to continue the example meaning to re-paint the living room the same color it was at the start of the lease).
Step 25 – Early Termination
If the landlord would like to give the option for the tenant to terminate their lease it must be stated in the agreement. If there is a right to terminate, the landlord will usually ask for a ‘termination fee’ usually amount to one (1) or two (2) months’ of rent.
Step 26 – Pets
Indicate whether or not pets shall be allowed by checking the preferred box – if allowed, specify the type of pets allowed in the line provided, the “up to” allowable weight, the pet deposit and check if the deposit is non-refundable.
Step 27 – Noise/Waste
The tenant must dispose of their garbage in a manner that is legal under local laws. In addition, the tenant must adhere to any building or local codes/rules in terms of noise. Most of the time this is in reference to hosting parties/events, playing music too loud, or working with noisy equipment during certain hours of the day.
Step 28 – Guests
The tenant is only allowed to have a certain number of guests on the property in addition to only having them be able to stay on the property for a certain time period.
Step 29 – Smoking Policy
It is required in the State of California for all agreements to have a smoking policy. It is also recommended for all contracts and one (1) of the boxes should be selected and to write the guidelines (if it is allowed).
Step 30 – Compliance with Law
The tenant acknowledges that they will reside on the premises in accordance with all local, county, State, and federal laws.
Step 31 – Default
This section states the terms under which the tenant or landlord should default on the lease agreement. There are generic conditions stated and a process if either party should not be in accordance with the agreed upon contract. Any of these items may be changed.
Step 32 – Multiple Tenants or Occupants
If the tenant would like to add any additional individuals to add to the lease, or any occupants, they must be notified to the landlord.
Step 33 – Disputes
If the landlord and tenant get into a dispute over something that is not clearly outlined in the agreement or any other topic it should be settled amongst themselves in “good faith”. “Good faith” is a term that both parties are willing to be reasonable into coming to a middle ground agreement.
Step 34 – Severability
If for any reason any of the sections in the agreement are unenforceable or not recognized by local or State laws that it does not affect the remaining parts of the lease.
Step 35 – Surrender of the Premises
That the tenant no longer has the rights to the property:
- When the lease has ended;
- and the keys have been returned to the property, whichever occurs first.
Step 36 – Retaliation
The landlord and tenant are restricted from making any type of retaliatory acts upon one another. For example, this would include the landlord making access to the property difficult for the tenant, or the tenant not maintaining the property in a way that could result in damage at the end of the term.
Step 37 – Waiver
If a breach of the lease is caused by the tenant it shall be considered waived if the landlord provides sufficient writing to the tenant for the said violation.
Step 38 – Equal Housing
The landlord reserves the right to treat every tenant equally no matter of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. If you would like more information on this subject you can read HUD’s Fair Housing Brochure.
Step 39 – Hazardous Materials
The tenant is never allowed to have materials on the property that could be a potential fire hazard or contain flammable or explosive characteristics.
Step 40 – Waterbeds
It is recommended for landlords to elect not permitting water filled furnishings on the property due to the potential damage they may cause if they should puncture. Chances are that the amount of damage a waterbed can cause, which is usually between 196 to 235 gallons, would exceed the amount held for the security deposit. Therefore, it is in the landlords best interest to not allow this type of furniture.
Step 41 – Indemnification
The landlord will not be held accountable for any damages or injury to the tenant(s) unless it has been due to the negligence of the landlord. Furthermore, it is recommended that the tenant(s) obtain renter’s insurance at their own expense.
Step 42 – Covenants
All terms and conditions in the agreement shall bind the heirs, legal representatives, and parties mentioned.
Step 43 – Notices
It is required in most States that the name and mailing address of the manager of the property (and sometimes the landlord as well) to disclose their name and address for notices. The tenant should also list theirs as this will be for any legal letters.
Step 44 – Agent / Manager Contact
If there is a manager or agent that is the person of contact for the tenant for any complaints or repair-requests it should be noted in the form. If not, then the landlord may opt to leave it blank or delete this section.
Step 45 – Premises Deemed Uninhabitable
If for any reason the property is no longer livable due to damage caused by the environment the tenant(s) will have the option to terminate the lease.
If the property is no longer livable due to the negligence of the tenant then the landlord will have the right to claim repair costs and rental income losses from the tenant.
Step 46 – Lead Paint Statement
If the housing unit was built prior to 1978 it is required by State law to have the Lead Based Paint Disclosure attached to the lease to be completed, initialed, and signed by both parties.
Step 47 – Governing Law
Enter the State or Territory where the property is located.
Step 48 – Additional Terms and Conditions
Add any additional terms or conditions that the parties would like to add can be entered here.
Step 49 – Sign and Date
- Date that the parties have agreed and shall execute the agreement in dd/m/yy format
- Provide the Landlord’s Signature
- Printed name
- Date of signature in mm/dd/yyyy format
- All tenant(s) signatures (respective)
- Printed names
- Date signatures in mm/dd/yyyy format
Step 50 – Amount Due at Signing – Complete all required fields
- Once all of the fields have been completed, provide copies to all adult tenants and retain the original for the landlord’s records