Residential rent agreements set forth in writing the most important terms between a tenant and landlord in order to avoid misinterpretation or confusion with regard to who has access to the property and the conditions of access. The agreement needs to cover all aspects of the lease and should clearly state what is expected of each party and the possible consequences for failing to adhere to the conditions set forth. Among the most important items within a residential lease agreement are the following:
Description of the property: The lease agreement should contain the physical location of the property as well as any non-fixed related assets such as refrigerators, microwaves, dryers, water filtration systems, dishwashers and ovens. In this way, the landlord is protected when the tenant moves out and the landlord is required to maintain the property and such items in working order during the lease term.
Names of the tenant(s): A rental lease agreement must include names and signatures of every adult who lives at the property and needs to be constantly updated as required. This will ensure that each tenant takes responsibility for the terms contained in the lease. It also allows the landlord to claim full rent, regardless of roommate turnover.
Duration of the lease: The lease duration could be month-to-month, annual or some other length of time.
Lease renewal: A month-to-month lease will typically self-renew until one of the parties, tenant, or landlord gives notice of non-renewal. In the case of longer rental lease agreements, the terms usually switch to a month-to-month arrangement once the initial term expires. In either case, the document outlines the procedure for non-renewal of the lease, as well as how much notice must be given.
Security deposit and fees: All monies that the tenant needs to pay to the landlord, as well as other costs, have to be noted in the agreement.