4 Things to Know About Residential Lease Agreements
A residential lease agreement is a type of contract entered into by a landlord and a tenant. At its simplest, a tenant rents premises from a landlord and pays an agreed-upon rental amount on a monthly basis.
The agreement consists of terms and conditions. These describe the rights of the landlord and the tenant in relation to the premises. It’s always best to understand what you’re getting yourself into when renting a new residence.
Upon receiving the lease, thoroughly read through it and if you don’t understand certain parts of it, speak to your would-be landlord. You can even ask landlord-tenant lawyers to assist you in understanding your new lease.
But you don’t have to turn to the lawyers just yet because we’ve listed four essential things to know about residential lease agreements before signing on the dotted line.
1. All Costs Involved
The rental amount must be clearly mentioned on the lease. The same applies to any deposits payable and their payment terms. Additional costs such as those associated with electricity, water, and garbage removal must be detailed.
The terms and conditions of all payments must be explicitly mentioned, and the same applies to the terms for any refunds where applicable.
2. Property and Lease Rules
Each state has its own set of default rules for entering a residential lease agreement. Make sure that the rules outlined in the lease agreement are on par with the current rules as set by the state. Sometimes, state laws can override lease provisions. This is why it’s important to make sure the lease is legal in every sense of the word.
All rules for living on the premises must be clearly noted. The most common rules are that of tenant behavior, smoking, drinking and any pets you bring onto the premises.
It must also state how many tenants are allowed to live on the premises throughout the period of the lease. You must understand these rules to follow them accordingly. Rules are there to avoid conflict in the future.
3. The Duration and Termination
The lease should clearly state the specific dates of the duration when you can take residency as well as the expiration of the agreement.
The notice period is also required on the lease and is typically one calendar month. Be aware that some agreements call for up to two months’ notice.
4. Rights and Responsibilities
The rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant must be clear. The lease must clearly state how the tenant should report any problems and also the required process if repairs on the premises are needed—as well as WHO is responsible for said repairs.
Most people don’t understand their residential lease agreement and therefore don’t know what they’re committing to. Make sure to understand every clause within the document before you sign it to avoid the unnecessary conflict that stems from misunderstanding a lease.