Residential Lease Forms
If a prospective renter is looking to lease his next residence, he may be wondering what residential lease forms are, and how they can help him. Whether a renter decides to retain an attorney or write the lease himself, it's helpful to have a better understanding of this form and its importance.
Covers Both the Landlord and Tenant
A lease agreement should cover the responsibilities and rights of both the landlord and the tenant, and it can be difficult to reduce the length of the document, so it's generally a long one, at least two pages or more. While there are some online resources out there that provide a one-page agreement, it's best to make sure that all of the responsibilities and rights of both the tenant and landlord are incorporated into that shorter document.
Important Information Included
There is a lot of important information that should be incorporated into a lease agreement. For example, some basic information that should be a part of a lease agreement include the terms of the rental, the notice periods and the rent that will be due each month. If a security deposit is due, that should be incorporated into the terms of the lease as well. Also, the lease should outline the condition the unit should be in if the tenant expects to receive his security deposit back after the lease has expired. Specific terms regarding the rental include whether or not the tenant is allowed to keep pets, the restrictions on noise and the responsibilities of upkeep and maintenance should also be incorporated into this legal document.
The landlord should incorporate information as to the termination methods and rights, and whether or not the lease can be transferred to another individual.
Lease Agreements Don't Have to Be Written
It's important to note that rental and lease agreements do not need to be in writing in order to be legally binding. That said, it's certainly easier to enforce a lease agreement when the terms are in writing. It's also best to have the lease in writing so that all parties understand their responsibilities as either the landlord or the tenant.
Some Clauses Unenforceable
There are a few clauses that are in standard leases that are unenforceable. Such clauses include the landlord having the ability to repossess the rental unit if the tenant fails to pay his rent on a timely basis, or a clause that allows the landlord to enter the unit without notice to the tenant. Another unenforceable clause is one that states that the tenant would have to pay for all damages to the unit without the consideration of who may be at fault.
It's highly advisable that anyone looking to enter into a lease agreement read over their lease before agreeing to the terms. It may also be helpful for a prospective tenant to consult with a real estate attorney so the attorney can review the lease and determine if the lease is legally binding.