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Residential Lease Forms and Agreements

U.S. Legal Forms™, Inc. offers Residential Lease Forms and Agreements to comply with the laws of your State. All forms are prepared by Attorneys.


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What You Need in Every Residential Lease Agreement

These days it's so easy to download the form for a residential lease, there's really no excuse not to sit down and fill in the blanks. Hopefully, you do so after a standard lease application has been approved, after conducting the relevant tenant screening and background checks. USLegalforms offers a lease package specifically designed for your state, standard residential rental lease forms, as well as more complex lease agreements, such as triple net leases. A sample lease agreement form may be previewed for the landlord tenant forms and residential lease forms we offer.

Every state has a set of statutes covering landlord and tenant law. Therefore, the forms offered by USLegalforms are state-specific and you can be assured the form complies with the local law governing a residential lease contract or lease application.

The statute of frauds is a law in each state which makes some contracts that can't be performed within a year unenforceable unless they are in writing. Residential lease agreements longer than a year are unenforceable without written lease contracts under the statute of frauds laws of most states.

The types of landlord and tenant issues covered in the residential lease forms offered by USLegalforms include the following:

  • The names, and addresses of the landlord/tenant, as well as the address and number of occupants at the rental premises.
  • Rent - The rental agreement should be specific about the term of lease and how much and when rent payments are due and rights and terms and conditions regarding late payments, late charges, etc.
  • Security deposit - in some states, a statutory notice may be required to be given to tenants regarding the security deposit.
  • Term of lease - without a written residential lease agreement, an oral month-to-month tenant will be governed by state landlord and tenant law, often requiring a 30 day written notice before a tenant can be evicted.
  • Maintenance and repair above reasonable wear and tear in some residential lease agreements, the tenants agree to make repairs and deduct the cost of repair from the rent.
  • Utilities rights and obligations regarding payments need to be explained, especially in a month to month lease.
  • Access by the landlord - in an emergency and for necessary repairs, the tenant must allow the property manager access to the premises upon giving proper written notice.
  • Who agrees to carry insurance and who shall be responsible for the premium payments.
  • Terms and conditions regarding pets and extended guests and any written permission from landlord required.
  • Parking if applicable, what the tenant's expense for parking will be, and any extra charges, along with any rules and regulations.
  • Assignment and Subletting - the lease should require written notice to and written consent from the landlord if subletting or assigning the lease is allowed, which it often isn't.
  • Rental property management rules and regulations
  • Disclosures - disclosure rules vary by state for issues such as lead paint, housing discrimination, etc.
  • Legal terms related to how any future legal disputes are to be handled.
  • Termination, renewal, abandonment, and other required landlord tenant notices - terms should clearly state how to terminate this agreement. Automatic renewal clauses are regulated by local statutes in some states.

A residential rental lease is a basic landlord tenant tool that can be downloaded and the blanks filled in within minutes. Even if you only have a month-to-month tenancy, a residential lease contract can help avoid the disputes that often arise when nothing is in writing and it's merely one person's word against the other's. It is well worth investing the time and cost to download a rental agreement lease form and fill in the blanks when it could prevent having to spend much more time and expense dealing with landlord-tenant issues in housing court.

Do I need a written lease if the tenant is month to month?

Every landlord should have a written lease to minimize any future dispute over the terms and conditions, or any rules or regulations. A standard lease is just common sense business practice.  Often, a state landlord and tenant statute will require a 30 day notice to tenant in a month-to-month tenancy when there's no written lease in force. A simple lease allows the landlord to choose the required notice to tenant and clarify the right and obligations of tenants under the contract.

Why do I need a lease application?

It's smart business practice to conduct tenant screening and background checks to minimize occupancy turnover rates. There are landlord-tenant laws, which vary by local area, covering issues such as housing discrimination and consents to background and credit checks. Having knowledge of a potential lessee's employment and credit history can help you predict the likelihood that the rental applicant will default and be late of rent payments. A residential lease form should always be preceded by a lease application. USLegalforms offers a residential rental lease package and residential lease forms that comply with the laws of your state.

What is the best way to terminate a lease agreement?

The best way is to deal with lease termination in the written rental agreement. A basic lease form will contain terms and conditions dealing with written notice and who shall be responsible for supplying notice.  For example, it may provide that a 30 day notice is required or demand written permission from landlord to sublet or assign the contract. In some cases, the lease may allow a lessee to terminate this agreement based on certain conditions, and require a fee or other rules and regulations.

How do I create a rent to own lease?

A rent-to-own lease is a basic lease agreement that also contains terms for the sale of the rental property according to the stated terms and conditions. It's sometimes also called a contract for deed, land contract, or lease to own agreement. Typically, the lease term is one to a few years, but it's a matter of negotiation between landlord and tenant. The forms offered by USLegalforms allow you to preview a sample lease agreement, download the form, fill in the blanks, or also order a sample form to follow.

Are other forms needed besides the rental application and lease?

There may be required disclosures involved, such as notices regarding security deposits and others, depending on local law. Another common form is the inspection report, which is used to detail the move-in condition and support any claims for property damage and deductions from a security deposit in the move-out inspection. In some case, a lender will want the new tenant to sign a subordination, non-disturbance, and attornment agreement, which generally gives the renter the right to remain in the premises in the event of a foreclosure in exchange for keeping the lender's interest ahead in priority.

When can a landlord increase the rent?

Generally, the landlord is bound by the terms of the residential lease agreement until it expires. At the end of the lease term, the landlord is free to increase rent payments, within any applicable rent control limits. In a month to month lease, the landlord can increase rent payments at the end of each month with the tenant's consent.  If the tenant doesn't agree to the rent increase, then the landlord can bring eviction proceedings if necessary.

What happens if I allow s renter to stay beyond an expiration of lease?

A holdover tenant is one who stays without the landlord's consent past the expiration of the lease. Even without your written consent, the permission from the landlord can be waived by accepting late payment of rent or partial rent payment. If a waiver of being behind on rent is found, it may require another month's notice before the tenant may be evicted and may be raised as a defense to eviction in housing court.

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