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A Residential Lease Agreement is a document that outlines the responsibilities of a landlord and tenant when a residential property is being rented. In the most basic landlord-tenant relationship, including those landlord-tenant relationships that exist between friends or family members, having a written lease that outlines all of the terms and conditions of the rental is a necessity. With rental properties, so much can happen between the parties that having everything agreed to in hard copy beforehand will make any disputes down the line a lot easier to deal with.
In a lease, landlords list basic information about the rental property - such as rent payments, security deposit information, and pet policies, if applicable - so that tenants are aware of their obligations. Additionally, landlords can occasionally give tenant-specific information about what landlords are required to do and how they are required to act under the laws of the particular state the parties live in. A good lease should have as much information as possible to let the tenant know what to expect from the landlord, but also to keep the landlord protected in case of a bad tenant.
Leases can be short-term (six months or so) to long-term (a year or more) and are used for all different types of rental properties, such as homes, duplexes, and apartments. A residential lease agreement is a legally binding contract for both parties.
For lease agreements lasting less than about six months, a specific Short-Term Lease is better to use than a residential lease.
How to use this document
This Lease Agreement will help a landlord and tenant set forth all the required facts and obligations to rent out a property. In this document, basic lease information will be listed, such as tenant and landlord names, addresses, and dates of the lease. Additional detailed information will also be included, such as what happens when the tenant is late when the rent.
In this Lease Agreement, the landlord can also specify what the tenant can and can't do. For example, the landlord will be able to outline the terms of the pet policy (if pets are allowed) and decide if the tenant will be able to sublet the property for short amounts of time (like a vacation rental). Overall, this lease will provide everything both parties need to ensure that they can outline the expectations for the relationship between them. The landlord can customize it as needed and have a robust Lease Agreement when finished.
After this form is filled out, it should be printed and signed by both parties. Then each party should keep a copy.
Lease Agreements in the United States are generally subject to the laws of individual states.
The Environmental Protection Agency governs the disclosure of lead-based paint warnings in all rentals in the states. Distinct from that, however, required disclosures and lease terms will be based on the laws of the state, and sometimes county, where the property is located.
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