LANDLORD AND TENANT LEASE AGREEMENT TEMPLATE
Prepared by: [Landlord.FirstName][Landlord.LastName][Landlord.Company]
Prepared for: [Tenant.FirstName][Tenant.LastName]
This Agreement is entered into by [Landlord.FirstName][Landlord.LastName] (“Landlord”) and [Tenant.FirstName][Tenant.LastName] (“Tenant”) and outlines the rights and obligations of both parties relating to rental of property at the following address — property (“Rental Property”).
Landlord and Tenant are collectively referred to in this Residential Landlord-Tenant Agreement as the “Parties.” Both Parties have had an opportunity, before signing this document, to fully review it and consult with a lawyer, if desired. To the best of their understanding, this document accurately and fully describes the expectations and agreements between the Parties relating to the property for the duration of this Residential Landlord-Tenant Agreement.
4. INABILITY TO TAKE OR DELIVER POSSESSION OF RENTAL PROPERTY
If the Tenant is unable to take possession of the Rental Property premises, or vacates the Rental Property before the end of the term of tenancy, Tenant will still be responsible for paying any outstanding amounts owed and/or the remainder of the rental payments in order to comply with the terms of this Agreement.
If Landlord is unable to deliver possession of the Rental Property premises for any reason outside of the control of the Landlord (for example, destruction of the building due to natural disaster), Tenant will have the right to terminate this Agreement upon written notice to the Landlord, and Landlord’s sole responsibility will be to return sums paid by Tenant for periods of time when Landlord is unable to deliver possession of the premises.
6. LATE FEES
If Tenant fails to pay the rent in full before the end of the first day of the month, Tenant will also be required to pay the Landlord a late charge of ($Amount), plus a daily late charge of ($Amount) for each additional day that the rent remains unpaid. The total late charge for any one month will not exceed the maximum of ($Amount).
Your state or city or state may have legal limitations on how much you may charge for late fees. If you don’t know what they are, be sure to find out before entering into a landlord-tenant agreement. Contracts are not allowed to punish people for being late with payments, but may assess fees that have some reasonable relationship to the impact on the non-offending party.
7. RETURNED CHECK FEES
If any check for rent payment is returned for insufficient funds, a “stop payment,” or any other reason, Tenant will pay Landlord a returned check charge of ($Amount), as well as any late fees that accrue., as well as any late fees that accrue.
Make this charge an estimation of the cost to you if this happens, such as what bank charges would be assessed against you.
8. LIMITATIONS ON USE OF THE PREMISES
The Rental Property is to be used only as a private residence for Tenant and the following minor children (list number of minor children). Occupancy by guests for more than one week is prohibited without Landlord’s written consent.
Tenant, minor children identified herein, and guests or invitees, will not use the Rental Property for any illegal or nuisance activity, including, though not limited to, disturbing the peace and quiet enjoyment of the neighbors, possession or use of illegal substances. Tenant shall be responsible to the Landlord for the actions of Tenant’s guests and invitees. Tenant bears full responsibility for any and all property damage caused by Tenant, minor children, and/or any of Tenant’s guests.
Under some circumstances, you as a Landlord can have legal liability for criminal conduct on the premises, even if you didn’t directly cause it. Thus it is important to be aware of, and take action to stop, any illegal conduct occurring on your property.
No pets of any kind, other than for assistance with a physical handicap of Tenant or the minor children identified above, are allowed without prior, written consent from the Landlord. The Landlord may deny consent for any reason, or require a pet security deposit in the amount of ($Pet.Deposit).
Landlord hereby consents to the following pet(s) being kept in the Rental Property (list number of pets and type(s)).
Some cities and states place legal limitations on how much a landlord can charge as a pet deposit. It must be reasonably related to potential damage by the pet.
Waterbeds are not permitted without separate, written consent from the Landlord and providing proof of rental insurance covering any damages caused by said waterbed.
11. ALTERATIONS OR REPAIRS
Tenant is not permitted to make any repairs or alterations to the Rental Property, or any appliances or fixtures therein, without prior consent from the Landlord. This includes painting the premises or all other prohibited alterations.
Sometimes rental agreements go so far as to prohibit even putting a nail in the wall to hang a picture. This may be a good place to add in information specific to this Rental Property.
Keys to the Rental Property belong to the Landlord and will be returned by Tenant to Landlord at the end of the tenancy. The Tenant will not modify or rekey any locks to the Rental Property, nor make any duplicate keys. In the event of the need for replacement keys or new locks, Tenant will request them from the Landlord.
13. GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION
If the Tenant fails to comply with the terms of this Agreement, or misrepresents any material fact on Tenant’s rental application, this Agreement can be terminated by the Landlord, with appropriate notice to Tenant and procedures required by law.
The procedures are not detailed here because each country, state, county and especially cities have very specific requirements. If you need to terminate a tenancy and begin eviction proceedings, you will need to consult with local and municipal laws/codes to get the specific procedures to follow.
14. ASSIGNMENT AND SUBLETTING
Tenant may not assign this Agreement or sublet the Rental Property to anyone else without the advance written consent of the Landlord.
15. SECURITY DEPOSIT
Upon signing this Agreement, Tenant will pay the Landlord a security deposit of ($Security.Deposit). This security deposit cannot be treated by Tenant as payment of the last month of rent or any other amounts due to the Landlord. Landlord shall keep security deposit funds in a trust account for the duration of the tenancy.
Usually security deposit funds are sometimes not required to be kept in a separate account or otherwise preserved for return to the tenant at the end of the lease; that said, a better practice would be to do so. Arguments over security deposits are commonplace when a landlord tries to increase charges to the departing tenant so the landlord does not have to come up with the money. It is far better business practice to keep security deposits in a fund to actually pay any costs appropriately charged against it, and give a fair refund.
Within 30 days of the Tenant vacating the Rental Property, returning keys to the Landlord and providing a forwarding address, Landlord will refund to Tenant the security deposit, less any amounts due from Tenant to Landlord for any of the following items: unpaid rent, unpaid late charges, cost of repair or cleaning above and beyond the ordinary wear and tear on the Rental Property. Landlord will provide Tenant with an itemized written statement of any funds withheld within this same time period.
16. UTILITIES AND MAINTENANCE RESPONSIBILITIES
Tenant is responsible to pay all utility bills except (list any included utilities), which will be paid by the Landlord. Tenant is required to provide utility services necessary to maintain the premises under the terms of this Agreement.
Tenant and Landlord will conduct a walk-through of the Rental Property before Tenant moves in to examine the premises. Tenant will examine the Rental Property, including appliances, fixtures, carpets, paint, etc., and will sign off on Rental Property to be safe and in clean condition and without need of any repair unless otherwise noted in writing to the Landlord within the first week of moving into the premises.
Tenant is responsible to keep the Rental Property clean, sanitary, and in good condition, and other than ordinary wear and tear, return the Rental Property to Landlord in the same condition as at the beginning of the lease.
Tenant is required to promptly notify Landlord of any dangerous conditions or defects found in the Rental Property, or arising during the term of this Agreement, whether pre-existing, caused by Tenant, minor children (if any), or guests, and whether negligently or intentionally caused.
Tenant is required to obtain and maintain, at Tenant’s expense, renter’s insurance that will cover bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage, occurring on the Rental Property. Tenant will provide proof of this insurance coverage to Landlord.
You may want to modify the language of this paragraph somewhat, or eliminate it if not required. Talk with your insurance company and make sure that whether through your own insurance, or Tenant insurance, you are covered in case someone slips and falls and sues, or the Tenant causes property damage, or similar types of events.
18. RIGHTS OF ACCESS
Landlord and Landlord’s agents are permitted to access the Rental Property in the event of an emergency without prior notice. Otherwise, Landlord and Landlord’s agents are permitted to access the Rental Property with at least (number of days) advance notice for access at reasonable times during the day for the following purposes: an annual inspection to check for safety or maintenance problems and evaluate the overall condition of the Rental Property, to make repairs and/or improvements, or to show the Rental Property to prospective buyers or tenants when the lease is set to expire.
Notice of intent to access the Rental Property will be given in writing posted on or under the front door of the Rental Property.
You might want to have a minimum 24 hour advance notice timeframe in this agreement, but in practice it might be good to give a little more notice when you can.
19. EXTENDED ABSENCE
Tenant will notify Landlord if Tenant will be away from the Rental Property for an extended period of time (for more than one week at a time), and Landlord may enter the Rental Property from time to time to perform necessary maintenance or upgrades to the Rental Property during that time.
If not specified otherwise above, any notices required under this Agreement will be served on the other party at the following:
The notice address for the Landlord should probably be the same as the address for payments, and the Tenant address should probably be the Rental Property address, but there may be occasions for using other addresses.
Email boxes can be tricky sometimes, as spam filters can occasionally keep recipients from seeing non-spam email. Due to the importance of contact notices, this ensures that the recipient actually gets the notice.
21. TERMINATION OF TENANCY
When the tenancy under this Agreement ends, Tenant will be required to do the following: empty and clean the Rental Property such that it is clean, sanitary, and good condition, subject only to ordinary wear and tear, return all keys to Landlord, and provide Landlord with a forwarding address for purposes of return of security deposit or other necessary communications.
22. ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS
Additional provisions to this Agreement are the following:
This is the place to add anything specific you find necessary; for example, relating to some specific feature of the property, or something not covered anywhere else in the Agreement.
According to law, Landlord is required to provide Tenant with the following disclosures: These disclosures are attached to this Agreement and must be signed at the same time as executing this Agreement.
Lead-based paint is one example of this, but there may be others in your city, state or country.
Disclosures ensure tenants are informed before signing, and therefore mitigate the potential for lawsuits during or after tenancy.
24. APPLICABLE LAW
This Agreement will be interpreted and governed by the laws of (Rental.Property.County), (Rental.Property.State), and the court location for any dispute over this Agreement to be adjudicated will be the same.
In the event of a dispute between the Parties arising under this Agreement, the Parties will first make good faith efforts to discuss the dispute in person and attempt to reach resolution before taking the dispute to court.
Lawsuits are expensive, and it is almost always worth a conversation to avoid one.
25. SEVERABILITY OF PROVISIONS
Should any portion of this Agreement be held to be illegal, invalid, or unenforceable under the laws of the (Rental.Property.County), (Rental.Property.State), or any other applicable jurisdiction, that provision will be considered ineffective only to that extent, and without invalidating the entire contract.
Neither party wants the entire agreement undermined by a change in the law of which one or the other party was not made aware. This softens the blow of such a situation.
26. NO WAIVER
No waiver of any term or condition or breach of this Agreement will be binding on either party unless agreed to in writing by the waiving party. The failure of either party to enforce the provisions of the Agreement will not affect the validity of either party’s right to enforce each and every provision at any and all times thereafter.
For example, if the Landlord excuses a late rent payment one month, that does not mean that Landlord is obligated to accept a late payment the next month.
27. DISPUTES AND RESOLUTIONS
For any disputes occurring between both parties, they may either go through mediation, arbitration, or court litigation to resolve the issue. As highlighted above under APPLICABLE LAW, both parties agree that they will try to settle the dispute amicably amongst themselves before using the help of an arbitrator, or a third party agent, a judge, or a jury.
In case the dispute reaches the court, the judgment of the court will be considered as the final agreement on the matter of the dispute, unless either party goes to a court of a higher authority.
Both parties agree to maintain strict confidentiality for any given information that is exchanged, either on-record or off-record, that may or may not come to negatively impact the other party. Confidential information is not information that is readily available to the general public, it is information that has been shared in confidence. Both parties may share confidential information if they have the permission of the other party, or if the information is about any illegal activities.
The Landlord, with this agreement, also guarantees the Tenant two (2) parking spaces within the apartment building’s premises. The parking space may only be used to park vehicles, as opposed to any other activity, such as working on cars. Guests of the visitor may not use the parking space (however, they can use the visitor parking spaces freely available to the visitors of all tenants). The monthly cost of the parking spaces, if applicable, is listed in the payment schedule.
30. RETURN OF ALL ITEMS
The Tenant agrees to return all items that they have taken from the Landlord, unintentionally or otherwise. Such items shall be returned no more than thirty (30) days from when the lease expires. Items that were given with the permission of the Landlord, sample items, or complimentary food items are also not included in this provision. Vice versa, if the Landlord has taken any items from the Tenant, they too must be returned no more than thirty (30) days from when the lease expires. Failing to do so, the grieving party is liable to compensation of no more than ($Amount), which will be billed to the party at fault.
31. VACATION AND HOLIDAYS
The Tenant agrees that the rent will continue as usual, even if the Tenant is on vacation. The Landlord may, however, at their own discretion, choose to offset amounts of the rent owed for the time period when the Tenant is on vacation.
32. NO MODIFICATIONS UNLESS IN WRITING
If either Party wishes to change any part of this contract, either in part or full, they must let the other Party know in writing. Only if the other Party expressly states their approval of this modification (in writing), then the new provision will be deemed enforceable. No provisions will be deemed valid and enforceable if they do not have the permission of both Parties.
33. RENT-TO-OWN PROVISION
Both Parties agree and understand that this property is not being rented with the intent of renting to own. If both Parties wish to re-evaluate this Agreement to include a rent-to-own provision, the contract shall be modified, or a new contract may need to be created. The Agreement, as is, should not be interpreted as a rent-to-own agreement.
34. UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES
The Tenant hereby guarantees and assures the Landlord that they will not undertake any unlawful activities, and no activities that may disrupt the peace and health of themselves, their cohabitants, or any of the other property residents. If the Tenant is found engaging in any unlawful activities, the Landlord, depending upon the severity of the illegal activity, and at their own discretion, will either provide a written notice or terminate the contract immediately.
35. BEST EFFORT
The Tenant agrees that they will try their best to keep the peace and harmony inside the Rental Property, with their cohabitants and guests visiting the premises, and other people residing in the building. If there are any issues with any of the aforementioned parties, the Tenant is to inform the Landlord immediately so that all Parties can take reasonable efforts to course correct and/or remedy the situation. The Landlord also agrees to put in their best effort to ensure the Tenant has a comfortable living space.
36. ENTIRE AGREEMENT
This Agreement, including all attachments (if any), constitutes the entire Agreement between the Parties, and supersedes all previous negotiations, agreements, and commitments, whether written or oral, with respect to this tenancy. Any modification of this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be signed by each Party. There are no understandings, representations or warranties except as expressly set forth herein, and no rights are granted except as expressly set forth herein.
37. ACCEPTANCE FORM
Executed by the Parties on the dates indicated below.
This clause is important to clarify that conversations between the landlord and the tenant are not agreement; this document is the agreement. In other words, if something is missing, the parties need to discuss and review that item and then include it in the agreement — or that item isn’t binding.