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Standard Residential Lease Agreement Template

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The Standard Residential Lease Agreement Template is the most widely used landlord-tenant contract. It is a fixed arrangement usually lasting for a period of one (1) year and both parties shall be bound until the end of its term. The document must follow all State Statutes and contain all disclosures as provided by law. After the form has been agreed to, along with the disclosures attached and security deposit provided by the tenant, the form is ready to be signed by the parties.

By State

What is a Standard Residential Lease Agreement?

A Standard Residential Lease is the most basic and popular type of document used when renting a property to an individual, known as a tenant. It is highly customizable which is very important for landlords and property owners who wish to alter the agreement according to their needs and property type. The 3 main subjects a lease should entail is the term (length of time), the amount per month or period, and any type of deposit such as a security or pet deposit. The lease guarantees that the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant be ensured, according to the state.

Other common names for a Residential Lease Agreement:

  • Basic Rental Agreement
  • Lease Agreement Template
  • Apartment Lease Agreement
  • House Lease Agreement
  • Simple Rental Agreement
  • Renters Agreement

When to Use a Residential Lease

A Residential Lease Agreement should be used when leasing any kind of livable property to a tenant which may include a house, apartment, room, condomobile home or some other type of habitable property. It’s very important to use a lease to minimize disputes and if ever a problem results in the need for court, such as an eviction, a lease is needed in order for either party to win their case, especially the landlord.

What’s included in a Standard Residential Lease Agreement?

A Standard Residential Lease Agreement may include reasons for breaking the lease that would not find the tenant in breach of contract. A tenant may break the lease at any time, however there are common clauses that do not hold a penalty for breaking the lease, such as:

  • Military or Government associated leave (State and Federal laws have authority over the rules to which the termination can occur).
  • The health of the tenant or an immediate family member that requires relocation.
  • Relocation in relation to tenant’s current or new job (Dependent on local state laws).

The lease should be reviewed for early termination clauses that allow for it to be broken with no penalty. If no clauses are found, the tenant may attempt to have legal clauses added to allow for the lease to be broken without penalty. Clauses are provided at the discretion of the landlord, or property Management Company, if acting on the behalf of the best interest of the landlord. Dependent on the reasons for the tenant to break the lease, some states provide options that would not hold the tenant liable even when not stated in the Standard Residential Lease Agreement.


Can a tenant break a lease to start a new job?

Breaking a lease can result in adverse action taken by the landlord, including credit judgements, forfeiture of security deposit or civil lawsuits. The tenant may have difficulty of renting a future property or apartment if a breach of contract is recorded. Conversely, the landlord may evict the tenant if the tenant does not meet the written requirements and terms of the lease as previously agreed upon. The eviction will provide a specified time in which the tenant must empty and vacate the premises, and each state has differing guidelines that must be fulfilled. A tenant may seek legal counsel, if they believe the eviction is without just cause or violates the Standard Residential Lease Agreement.

How long does a Standard Lease Agreement last?

The length of time of a lease agreement is identified as one of the requirements of the contract. A lease agreement can be created for month-to-month leasing, six months, one year or more. Lease agreements are not required to be the same set amount of time. At the end of the current lease (fixed term) the landlord may wish to extend the lease to the tenant, as a lease agreement does not automatically renew, unlike a rental agreement. The current lease agreement will need to be amended or a new legally binding agreement can also be signed.

Can I add a roommate to a Standard Residential Lease Agreement?

In the event the tenant is adding another individual to the residence (i.e. roommate, family member, etc.), the lease agreement should be consulted for requirements. Standard Residential Lease agreements have guidelines that new tenant additions be added specifically as a co-tenant. The additional tenant may be subject to criminal and financial screening, and rental history review. Furthermore the current lease agreement may need to be reviewed to ensure the occupancy limit is not exceeded.

Can a tenant continue to pay rent after a lease agreement expires?

In the event a Standard Residential Lease Agreement has expired and the tenant continues to pay rent, some local laws call for the lease to be automatically renewed, if the landlord accepts said payment. The previously agreed upon provisions will remain in effect during the new time period. The landlord may refuse and return the payment. In certain states, the expired lease will convert into a month-to-month lease if payment is made after the lease has ended and the prior provisions of the contract remains valid. The tenant may be required to provide a written thirty-day notice advising of intent to vacate the premises. Once the lease has expired, if tenant meets the appropriate requirements, the landlord may return any overpayments or deposits made at the beginning of the lease.

Residential Lease Agreement or Month to Month Rental Agreement

When renting for a fixed term, typically for 1 year or a long-term lease, you want to use a Residential Lease Agreement. For those looking to lease property in the short term by only being fixed to a rental agreement on a per month basis, you would want to select a Month to Month Rental Agreement as your contract.