A rental lease is a legally binding contract between the landlord and tenant. The lease agreement defines the terms upon which they can lease their property to a third party. The most commonly used type of rental lease defines how long your stay will be, the fees you’re expected to pay, what much notice you must give, and other important specifics. Before moving in, be sure to obtain an official rental agreement signed by your landlord. This will protect your belongings from being damaged by other people or being taken over by another owner.
The intention behind the rental lease agreement is to protect both the tenant and the landlord. It governs what the parties is allowed and is not allowed to do with the apartment they are renting and also how each person is required to contribute to the upkeep of their home.
If you sign the lease for a rental, make sure you read carefully to ensure there aren’t any hidden charges or unclear language. Get clarification from your landlord in case you aren’t sure prior to signing.
In a rental lease agreement there are three primary kinds of clauses:
1.) Rent and payment terms
2) Termination, term and renewal
3) Damage deposit
Rental and Payment Terms The rent and payment terms include the amount you are required to pay when it’s due, and whether you have agreed to pay any security.
The actual term of the rental: What length your lease will be for, and the terms of renewal and whether there is any option to terminate early by either party.
Changes in ownership: This section defines the procedure for your lease if your landlord wants to sell their home or building.
Damage deposit It is the amount that you must pay up front in case there is damage to your property. Any deductions made from this deposit should also be noted in the contract.
Utilities In the event that utilities are included in rent or are an additional expense,
Maintenance: Will you be accountable for specific tasks like landscaping and cleaning the pool? Are you expected by your landlord to fix any broken items, or is everything up to them?
It is also recommended to keep a copy of the rental agreement with your local municipality of the rental agreement. This can prove that there was a rental lease agreement in place, in case you ever have the courtroom to establish that it was in place.
It’s important to note the time frame within which you need to submit this document. Each town has a different protocol for how long they allow information like this to remain on file. You may have to file a new lease if you make significant modifications to your lease agreement.
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In addition, keep copies of your rental lease agreement in a safe location. Also, make your own list of all the important points of your rental lease and update it over the course of your stay, so that if something comes up later on, you have evidence to back you up. If possible, it’s also recommended to document the property and any destruction that has occurred.
The document provides protection for both tenant and the landlord. But your landlord may not always be willing to negotiations. If the situation gets heated and your landlord agrees that some conditions can be modified (e.g. increasing rents or altering damage deposit amounts) Make sure you keep this updated list. Making note of the changes will assist you in recollecting them when you renew your lease or lease another house. It may also give you negotiation power.