A residential lease agreement is a contract for the rental of a home, apartment or condo. It documents the agreement between a landlord and tenant and protects the landlord in the event a tenant fails to comply with the terms.
Lease agreements obligate all parties for a set period of time, referred to as the "term" of the lease. The term of a lease agreement is usually one year, while the term of a rental agreement is month-to-month or less. Though a verbal lease agreement is legal, most states require leases for a term of one year or more to be in writing. Almost all states recognize that at the end of a lease agreement, the term converts to a month-to-month rental unless a new lease agreement is signed and the landlord continues to accept monthly payments.
A "tenancy" is the relationship created between a landlord and tenant in a lease. The tenancy is defined by the tenant's right to possession, referred to as a leasehold interest, and the landlord's rights which include the receipt of rent during the term. In contrast, while a lease provides protected rights to possession, a licensing agreement would entitle the licensee to occupy the property subject to termination, at will, by the owner.
When the owner of real property surrenders possession of the property to another person via a lease agreement, the owner then becomes a landlord and the person taking possession becomes a tenant and any interference with the quiet enjoyment of the property by the tenant in lawful possession is itself unlawful and a violation of the lease agreement.
Lease Agreement Forms
The tenant has possession and use of the leased property to the exclusion of the landlord and all others. The lease also provides the tenant the right to invite others to the premises.
If the terms of a lease agreement are violated, the landlord can seek eviction. Lease eviction is the removal of occupying parties from a leased property, the requirements of which are governed by law. To begin the eviction process on a leased property, a landlord must serve a lease eviction notice, usually a lease violation notice or pay rent or quit notice. A good lease agreement will contain up-to-date language allowing the shortest time to evict.
A properly constructed lease agreement is a key element in protecting your property. It can be the difference between getting stuck with a problem tenant or having a path of legal recourse. Written leases are essential evidence of the agreement between the parties.
NUPP Legal lease agreements can be customized to fit your needs. In addition, the lease template is saved to your computer so that you can reuse and modify it as many times as you wish.