What Should A Lease Contain?

The most important document is the lease between the landlord and tenant. The lease is a contract. Unless the lease contains illegal provisions, a court will require the landlord or tenant to do what the language of the lease provides. The answer to most landlord­tenant questions can be found in the lease between the parties. A comprehensive lease should include the following:

Names of the tenant, the landlord or the landlord`s agent and the person or company authorized to manage the property. A description of the rental unit, identifying the appliances included in the unit and the heat and cooling source. The amount of rent and the date it is due, including any grace period, late charges or return check fee charges. How rent is to be delivered to the landlord and whether by check, money order or cash. Methods to terminate the agreement prior to the expiration date and what, if any, charges will be imposed. The amount of the security deposit and the account where it is held. Utilities furnished by the landlord and, if the landlord charges for such utilities, how the charge will be determined. Amenities and facilities on the premises which the tenant is entitled to use such as swimming pool, laundry or security systems. Rules and regulations such as pet rules, noise rules and whether or not breaking such rules can be grounds for eviction. Identification of parking available, including designated parking spaces, if provided. Pest control, if provided, and how often. How tenant repair requests are handled and procedures for emergency requests.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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