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Short-Term Lease Agreement

Last revision Last revision 04/24/2024
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size7 to 11 pages
4.8 - 425 votes
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Last revisionLast revision: 04/24/2024

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 7 to 11 pages

Rating: 4.8 - 425 votes

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What is a short-term lease agreement?

A short-term lease agreement, sometimes also called a short-term rental agreement, is a document that is used by a guest who would like to rent out a physical space from someone, known as the lessor, for only a short period of time. Short-term lease agreements can be very short, like a week or less, or up to a few months. It depends on what is appropriate for the guest's needs. A short-term lease is often used by a guest who is renting a property for a vacation stay or business trip where they will only be in town for a brief period of time.

What is the difference between a short-term lease agreement and a residential lease agreement?

Though both documents are used to rent out a property, they have different durations and use cases. A short-term lease is only to be used for a short stay, usually no longer than several months. A residential lease agreement is used for a more standard lease, like someone renting an apartment in which they live full-time for a longer period.

Is it mandatory to have a short-term lease?

No, it is not mandatory to have a short-term lease. A guest could informally stay at a lessor's property without a formal written lease. However, using a short-term lease is highly advisable to protect both the guest and the lessor in this situation. It ensures that both parties understand their rights and responsibilities during the guest's stay and helps avoid misunderstandings and disputes. Paradoxically, the shorter the stay, the more important the small details become. This makes a short-term lease a very advisable option for both guest and lessor.

What is a "security deposit"?

A security deposit is money paid from the guest to the lessor at the start of the lease. This money is meant to be used by the lessor to cover any damages that happen to the property through the fault of the guest. At the end of the lease, if there is no damage, the security deposit is returned to the guest.

What must a short-term lease agreement include?

A valid short-term lease agreement must contain at least the following mandatory clauses:

  • Contact information: The short-term lease agreement should include the name and contact information for all the involved parties, including the lessor and any guests.
  • Premises details: The short-term lease agreement specifies the address of the property that is being leased. It should also describe the property, including furnishings, contents, bedrooms, and bathrooms.
  • Important dates and times: The short-term lease agreement lays out when the lease is set to begin and end. The agreement also specifies what time the guest must check in and out of the property.
  • Rules: The short-term lease agreement specifies any rules the lessor has for the guests, such as barring the guest from accessing certain parts of the property or paying to use certain appliances.
  • Payments: The short-term lease agreement outlines how much the guest will pay, when those payments will be made, and how those payments will happen.
  • Permitted and prohibited uses: The short-term lease agreement describes the permitted and prohibited uses of the property. For example, the lease may specify that the property can exclusively be used for vacations but not as a family dwelling.

In addition to the above mandatory information, the following additional information may be included:

  • Minimum stay: The short-term lease agreement may specify a minimum amount of time a guest must rent out the property.
  • Security deposit: The short-term lease may require that the guest pay the lessor a security deposit up front to cover any damages they cause to the property during the lease.
  • Cancellation policy: The short-term lease agreement may describe the cancellation policy for the property.
  • Pet policy: The short-term lease agreement can specify whether pets are allowed and, if so, any rules associated with pets on the property.

Who can enter into a short-term lease agreement?

The two parties who enter into a short-term lease agreement are the person who is renting out the property, known as the lessee, and the person whose property is being rented, known as the lessor. Both individuals and businesses may enter into short-term lease agreements. For individuals entering into lease agreements, they must be of legal age to enter into a contract, 18 years of age or older in most states. They must also be mentally competent to enter into a contract. Business entities entering into a lease agreements must have the legal authority to do so, usually outlined in the business' governing documents, such as bylaws or operating agreement.

What can the duration of a short-term lease be?

A short-term lease is usually for no longer than several months, as longer leasing arrangements would use a standard residential lease agreement.

What should be done once the short-term lease agreement is finished?

When the short-term lease agreement is written and all the relevant information has been included, both the lessor and the guest should sign and date the document. The parties should each keep a copy of the agreement for reference and in case of future dispute. The signing does not need to be witnessed, and the document does not need to be notarized for it to go into effect.

Which laws are applicable to short-term lease agreements?

Lease agreements in the United States are generally subject to the laws of individual states. State laws will cover general contract principles, but also the specifics of lease agreements between two parties. There also may be city-specific laws where the property is — in fact, many US cities have rules on short-term rentals. Business licenses might also be required. It is therefore a good idea to check the specific laws and rules of the city where the property is located.


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