Apartment Lease Agreements

Thinking about leasing your apartment? Access your apartment lease agreements template here to ensure protection for yourself, your investment, and your tenant.

Apartment Lease Agreements

What is an Apartment Lease Agreement?

Apartment lease agreements are crucial contracts when it comes to renting property. These agreements are used when a landlord and tenant enter into a contract to lease any apartment. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of each party, along with other essential terms and conditions for the duration of the rental period.

Using an apartment lease agreement when renting any property is highly recommended. These legally binding documents help to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications by clarifying everything in writing. This also makes it possible for either party to refer back to should the need arise. By having a written agreement in place, both parties are protected during the period of the agreement.

Apartment Lease Agreements By State

Many states in the US govern their own landlord-tenant laws. While many use the Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act or parts thereof, they can also impose their own restrictions or regulations. As such, it’s important to ensure that any template you use includes your state’s requirements.

Creating Your Apartment Lease Agreement with PandaDoc

Using PandaDoc to create your apartment lease agreements is a simple process. Once you’ve chosen the appropriate lease agreement template and opened the document editor, follow our step-by-step process below.

  1. State the Parties. Start off by adding the full names of both the landlord and the tenant in the allocated fields. 
  2. Describe the Property. Next, provide some details of the property; specifically the address, property type, and any other distinguishing details.
  3. Terms. Now you can move on to adding the rental period of your lease agreement. This section usually includes the starting date as well as the finish date of the lease period. You can also use this section to cover how the renewal process works, if applicable.
  4. Include the Payment. Next, you need to specify the rental payment. This includes the amount that needs to be paid and when it needs to be paid. You can also mention whether or not late fees will be charged and how these will be calculated. Make sure to double-check if your state has an applicable grace period before you can charge a late fee.
  5. Security Deposit. Now, you can also specify any security deposits or other fees that need to be paid. Additional fees can include pet deposits and utility contributions.
  6. Responsibilities. Then, you can proceed to include any relevant roles and responsibilities for each party. Here, you can outline any specific rules, such as occupancy limitations, how disputes will be resolved, any restrictions, and the process surrounding maintenance, repairs, and utilities.

Date and Sign. Once completed, both parties need to date and sign the agreement for it to be considered legally binding.

Key Components and Terms

While it’s not unusual for lease agreements to vary, there are a few key components that should always appear on the contract. These general required elements include the following:

  • Contact information of all parties
  • Property details
  • Rental period
  • Rental amount and payment details
  • Rights and obligations of both parties
  • Deposits and other fees
  • Dispute resolution
  • Occupancy limits
  • Restrictions, including pets
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Utilities

There are several legal considerations and local compliance regulations that you need to keep in mind when creating an apartment lease agreement. These considerations can vary based on the state and sometimes even the individual county you’re leasing from.

Security Deposit Restrictions by States

Several states in the U.S. have specific laws that impose restrictions on security deposits for apartment leases.

StateSecurity Deposit Restrictions
CaliforniaMaximum of two months’ rent for unfurnished rentals, three months’ rent for furnished rentals.
IllinoisLandlords must pay interest on security deposits held for more than six months.
MassachusettsLimits on security deposits, and landlords are required to hold deposits in a separate, interest-bearing account.
New YorkRestrictions on the amount of security deposits, with a specific timeframe for return after lease termination.
New JerseyLimits security deposits to one and a half months’ rent, with specific procedures for handling and returning deposits.
WisconsinRegulations regarding security deposits, including the requirement for a written description of the rental unit’s condition at the lease’s start.

Caps on Move-In Fees

StateCaps on Move-In FeesAdditional Information
CaliforniaNo statutory cap on move-in fees.California requires landlords to provide an itemized statement of deductions.
IllinoisNo specific statewide caps. Local regulations may apply.Some local jurisdictions in Illinois may have their own regulations on move-in fees. Check local ordinances for specific requirements.
MassachusettsNo specific statewide caps.Massachusetts requires landlords to provide a receipt for any payment made in cash.
New YorkNo specific statewide caps. Local regulations may apply.Local ordinances in cities like New York may have specific rules regarding fees. Check local regulations for details.
New JerseyNo specific statewide caps.New Jersey law allows landlords to charge one and a half months’ rent as a security deposit, but there are no specific statewide caps on move-in fees.
WisconsinNo specific statewide caps.While Wisconsin does not have specific caps, landlords must provide an itemized statement of security deposit deductions within 21 days of the lease termination.

Access to Property

Another common legal consideration when it comes to apartment lease agreements is the landlord’s access to the property. Typically, a landlord must arrange access to the property with the tenant. They should also give sufficient notice, and most states have defined a minimum notice period, which usually ranges between 24-48 hours.

Simple Apartment Lease Agreement

Simple Apartment Lease Agreement
Use this template — free