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The LPA Lease Agreement

The Must-Have Rental Lease Agreement

The LPA Rental Lease Agreement is designed to fully interact with and support all of our Essential Landlord Forms for rental property management.

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The LPA Lease is State Specific

We've customized The LPA Lease to conform to each state's requirements! Just select your state when downloading! You can also see your specific State Lease Index for detailed information.

Experienced landlords love The LPA Lease agreement because it represents many years of trial and error learning from very painful and expensive experiences with tenants. This residential lease form has successfully saved us repeatedly from serious tenant nightmares, and from losing a lot of money!

The LPA Lease Includes Our Newest Lease Clauses

The LPA Lease can be either Month to Month or Fixed Term.

Easy to read and understand, The LPA Lease has evolved over the years and is highly praised by attorneys, landlords and even judges. Of course, we landlords like it the most because it was written especially to protect us.
Time and time again, landlords who have paid their attorney hundreds, even over a thousand dollars for lease agreement to protect them, have switched to the LPA Lease! Why? Because it is a collection of the best clauses and lessons we found necessary to include for "maximum landlord protection".

It does its job to discourage problem renters from signing on as our tenants. If the LPA Rental Application doesn't discourage the Deadbeat Tenant, the LPA Lease Agreement will. Let them disqualify themselves before they become your headache!

We find that if a prospect passes our tenant screening requirements, he or she will agree to our lease agreement. Why not? The lease form outlines in detail what is expected of an excellent tenant. We only want excellent tenants for our rentals and they are more than happy to agree to reasonable terms in our rental agreement. They will treat the property with pride and respect, and that makes being a landlord a great job.

The LPA Lease Agreement form is specially written to cater to residential houses and apartments.

Landlord Rental Lease Agreement

The LPA Lease has the right stuff!

Already in word processor format for your convenience, you can easily add, delete or change items in the document to customize the lease form to your exact landlord needs. Downloadable in MS Word and also accessible for LPA members can also download your choice of Format of LPA Forms,     even if you don't have MS Word.

Save Yourself Headaches with the LPA Lease Agreement

If possible, this lease should be read and explained to the tenant in person. We find it to be more effective that way. After all, it is an instruction manual for how to be your tenant in your rental property.

Before turning over a valuable asset for a mere 1 or 2 month security deposit, make sure the tenants understand and agree to all your terms. You'd be surprised at how many people are so eager to just sign the lease without bothering to read it. You can get a real idea of what these people will be like as tenants by how they respond to the terms in your lease agreement.

For example:

  • What does it tell you if the prospect has a major problem with your late fee policy? That's right, he expects to pay rent late.
  • How about if the prospect argues about being responsible for minor repairs?
  • Or the cleaning charge?
  • Or if he has a problem with a penalty for unauthorized occupants?
  • What if he has a real problem with the default clause, which outlines your rights to evict for nonpayment?
  • The LPA Lease also includes a clause requiring the tenant to maintain Renter's Insurance, along with many other essential clauses designed to protect the landlord.

You really can learn a lot about a tenant during the lease signing.

Remember, our lease is not meant to be used as a weapon, it is a Landlord Protection tool to defend yourself and your property from unscrupulous tenants and difficult situations. Although the LPA Lease is a very powerful tool, it's even more powerful when you use it effectively.

Also available in letter size and alternate Microsft Word Adobe PDF MS Works Word Perfect word formats.

Part of the Essential Forms Package

This form is a part of the Essential Forms package along with 100+ other forms. You can access all of our landlord forms with an LPA membership.

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LPA Landlords who use the LPA Lease Agreement also use:

What is a Lease?

A rental lease agreement is a contract a tenant and landlord use to outline their rights, duties and obligations when the tenant rents a residential and/or commercial property from the landlord, usually for a fixed period of time. Leases are governed by state law, and vary widely depending on what type of property is being leased and where it is located.

The most common types of leases include:

  • Residential Ė This includes apartments, townhouses, single-family homes and condominiums. These leases generally cover the rental of one unit within a building.
  • Commercial Ė This covers office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses, industrial properties and retail stores.
  • Industrial Ė This covers manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, oil rigs, wind farms, etc.
  • Agricultural Ė This covers farmland, ranches, vineyards, etc.

Lease agreements typically contain provisions regarding rent payments, maintenance fees, insurance requirements, utilities, taxes, security deposits, parking spaces, and even pets.

What is a Residential Lease Agreement?

A Residential Lease Agreement is used to outline the terms and conditions of an apartment or house rental. This document covers everything from what happens when you move out of the property to how long you're allowed to live there. It includes information about the rent, deposit, security deposits, utilities, maintenance fees, pet policy, and much more.

You can use a Residential Lease Agreement when leasing an apartment, house, condo, duplex, townhouse, or more.

What Is the Difference Between a Lease & Rental Agreement?

Both a lease and a rental agreement are legal documents that give the tenant the right to rent a piece of property. The term of a lease is usually for a longer period of time, in most instances 12 months. Rental agreement terms can vary, but the general use case is 30 days. However, it's not uncommon for a rental agreement to be several months or any period of time shorter than one year.

This is not to say that lease agreement terms don't vary. While a lease is usually set for one year, some leases allow tenants to extend their stay up to three years.

Types of Lease Agreements

The LPA Lease Agreement

The LPA Lease Agreement is packed with landlord protection and includes specific details for how to be a great tenant in your rental property. This state-specific agreement is specifically written to cater to residential houses and apartments and can be used for month-to-month or fixed-term tenancies.

Apartment Lease Agreement

The apartment lease agreement covers specific clauses and situations that can arise when renting an apartment. It is also state specific so you can be sure you are following all required state laws.

Lease with Purchase Option

A lease with purchase option includes the option for a tenant who is interested in purchasing the property during the term of the agreement. It structures payments that combine rent and payments to own the property. If the tenant decides to buy, the lease can then be converted to a purchase agreement.

Commercial lease agreement

Commercial lease agreements are used for any office, retail, or industrial spaces for businesses. We recommend the Commercial Net Lease Agreement to protect yourself. It's an adaptation of the LPA Lease designed to accommodate small businesses in commercial properties. This form offers a high level of landlord protection while being very direct and clear about the tenant's responsibilities. It also includes the choice for Triple Net.

Rental Agreement

The rental agreement form works as a quick and easy lease signing. Although less detailed, it contains many of the same legal elements as the LPA Lease and is easily customizable. It is a residential lease that is state specific.

Furnished Lease Agreement

A furnished lease agreement includes an inventory checklist so that all items that are a part of the rental can be documented. This type of lease agreement works well for furnished apartments, condominiums, and residential homes. It's also a great option for seasonal and vacation rentals.

Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

The month-to-month rental agreement works great for seasonal or vacation properties and is intended for tenants with shorter stay intentions.

The Leasing Process

1. Pre-screen Potential Tenants

When a prospective tenant contacts the landlord, several questions should be asked before setting up an appointment to view the rental. This ensures that the landlord isn't wasting their time with tenants who will not meet their standards. The following questions will help the landlord decide if they want to rent to this particular person.

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Reason for moving?
  • Number of people moving in and their relationship to the tenant?
  • Intended rental term?
  • Occupancy date?
  • Pets?
  • Smoking?
  • How is your credit? (Excellent, Good, Bad)
  • Does the tenant have a landlord reference?
  • What is/are the tenant occupations(s)?
  • Has the tenant ever owned a home?

2. Potential Tenant Views the Space

Before a lease is created, the potential tenant will view the space and see if they like it enough to rent it. They may make an offer or the lease may already have the rent price per month listed.

Potential Tenant Views the Space

3. Rental Application

The landlord will provide the tenant with an application form. This is usually done online. The tenant fills out the information, uploads any required documents, and submit it. The tenant will also authorize a credit and background check and may be charged a small fee to cover the cost.

4. Landlord Runs Credit & Background Check

A wise landlord will run a consumer report which will allow them to view the potential tenant's credit and background. Each state varies what the landlord is allowed to do or if they can take various aspects of a potential renter's history into account when making a rental decision.

Recommended Services
Limited Consumer Reports?
Detailed Consumer Reports?

5. Verify References

If the tenant included professional and personal references on the rental application, the landlord should contact these individuals by phone and ask about their dealings with them. If speaking with a previous landlord, the prospective landlord should inquire if the tenant paid their rent on time. It's also important to verify the legitimacy of the referenced individuals are actually the person they claim to be. The Landlord Reference Check, a series of targeted questions, will help you weed out an imposter.

6. Approving the Tenant

Once a tenant is approved, a lease agreement should be written by the landlord with clear terms that the tenant understands. This is a vital step in ensuring a smooth lease term without any major issues. Some of the lease items may be negotiated, such as:

  1. Monthly rent amount - How much the tenant has to pay and when the payment is due (usually the 1st of the month)
  2. Security deposit amount - While this is determined by the landlord, each state has security deposit maximums that must be adhered to.
  3. Utilities - Which utilities, if any, will be included in the rental agreement such as electricity, cable, internet, A/C, water, or others.
  4. Additional Fees - If any additional fees are applicable to the lease such as parking, pets, trash etc.
  5. Term - The standard lease is 12 months, but this can potentially be negotiated.

7. Lease Signing

The lease becomes legally binding for the term agreed upon once both parties sign the agreement. While many agreements today can be signed electronically, in-person signing is always an option.

Tenant Obligations due at signing

  1. Security deposit
  2. First month's rent
  3. Last month's rent
  4. Any additional fees due during the first month of occupancy

Landlord Obligations due at signing

  1. Lead-Based Paint disclosure - This form is required if the residence was built prior to 1978 and discloses the possibility of hazardous paint on the premises.
  2. Move-in Inspection Checklist - When moving in, the tenant and the landlord should inspect the property together and note any existing damage or deficiencies. This is actually required in 17 states and must include photos with timestamps.
  3. State disclosures - Any disclosures required under state law.
  4. Addendums - As required by each particular tenant.

8. Taking Occupancy

After the tenant signs the lease and completes all necessary obligations, they are granted access on the 1st day of the lease term. If the tenant needs to move in prior to the start of the lease agreement, a separate early occupancy addendum should be utilized that includes a pro-rata number of days and associated cost.

9. End of the Lease

At the end of the lease term, the tenant must return the keys to the landlord if the lease is not renewed. Either the landlord or the tenant can decide to not renew the lease. If the lease isn't renewed, the tenant is required to move out and provide their forwarding address. After the keys are returned, the landlord will inspect the property for any damages.

Once inspected, the landlord must return the security deposit back to the tenant minus any deductions in accordance with state law and lease agreement details. Providing tenants with move-out instructions prior to their departure can ensure that all requirements are met so they can receive a full security deposit return.

Security Deposit Terms by State

The maximum amount of time for a landlord to return the security deposit to the tenant varies by state. You can see the entire list of security deposit return times vary by statelInclude State, Max Deposit Limits, Held in Separate Account, Refund Time, Law https://www.thelpa.com/free/security_return_by_state.pdf

Rent Due & Grace Periods

When rent is due and the tenant hasnít paid, a grace period protects the tenant from late fees or eviction. However, grace periods are different from state to state. Late rent can still negatively affect the tenantís rental history. Some states do not require a grace period while Massachusetts has the most lenient grace period (30 days). This information is current as of August 2022.

State Timeframe to return deposit and or settlement statement after possession is returned
Alabama 60 days
Alaska 14 days with proper notice to terminate by tenant. 30 days without proper notice from tenant
Arizona 14 days
Arkansas 60 days
California 21 days
Colorado 1 month, unless longer is agreed in lease. 60 days maximum allowed.
Connecticut 30 days. If tenant fails to provide forwarding address, landlord may keep until tenant provides a forwarding address and then 15 days after receiving tenantís forwarding address.
Delaware 20 days
D.C. 45 days
Florida 15 days with interest if there is no claim on deposit. 30 days to notify tenant with intent to impose a claim on the deposit. (Itemized Security Settlement Statement)
Georgia 1 month
Hawaii 14 days
Idaho 21 days. Parties may agree to as long as 30 days
Illinois 30 days from return of possession. Buildings 5 or more units: within 30 days with itemized Security Settlement Statement. If landlord fails to deliver Security Settlement Statement, within 30 days, the full deposit must be returned within 45 days.
Indiana 45 days
Iowa 30 days
Kansas 30 days
Kentucky 30 days depending on whether deductions are disputed by tenant
Louisiana 1 month
Massachusetts 30 days
Maine 30 days (written lease) or 21 days (oral agreement)
Maryland 45 days
Michigan 30 days
Minnesota 3 weeks after tenant returns possession. 5 days if building condemnation caused tenant to vacate
Missouri 30 days
Montana 30 days with deductions. 10 days if no deductions
Nebraska 14 days
Nevada 30 days
New Hampshire Written lease: 30 days; if deposit is more than 1 mo, rent, landlord must provide written agreement acknowledging receipt of deposit and specifying when it will be returned. - Oral agreement: 20 days from date tenant vacates.
New Jersey 30 days. Ė 5 days in the event of emergency, flood or condemnation.
New Mexico 30 days
New York 14 days
North Carolina 30 days (No claim) If claim, landlord must notify tenant of claim and has up to 60 days to provide itemized settlement statement with any remaining deposit money
North Dakota 30 days
Ohio 30 days
Oklahoma 45 days
Oregon 31 days
Pennsylvania 30 days
Rhode Island 20 days
South Carolina 30 days
South Dakota 14 days Ė If deductions, up to 45 days with Security Settlement Statement on tenant request
Tennessee No statute of time limit. If deductions, 10 days to notify tenant with Security Settlement Statement
Texas 30 days
Utah 30 days if deductions. If no damage, 30 days or within 15 days after receiving forwarding address.
Vermont 14 days
Virginia 45 days
Washington 21 days
West Virginia 60 days. If re-rented, with 45 days of possession of a subsequent tenant. If damages are beyond the deposit amount and cause the owner to hire a contractor the period may be extended 15 days.
Wisconsin 21 days
Wyoming 30 days if deducting unpaid rent or 15 days of receiving tenantís forwarding address. No damage:30 days or within 15 days of receiving tenantís forwarding address. (Whichever is later) With property damage: 60 day limit to provide Settlement Statement itemizing deductions along with refund if any.

Late Fees (Maximum Allowed)

Usually, a late fee is assessed when the tenant doesnít pay the rent on time. In many states, the late rent fee is not defined meaning the landlord can charge as much as described in the lease agreement. In other states, there are other defined guidelines.

State Maximum Late Fee a Landlord May Charge
Alabama No state limit but must be reasonable
Alaska No state limit but must be reasonable
Arizona No state limit but mobile homes limited to $5. per day
Arkansas No state limit but must be reasonable
California As agreed, but difficult to enforce in court
Colorado No state limit but must be reasonable
Connecticut No state limit but must provide 9 day grace period
Delaware 5% of rent max
District of Columbia 5% of rent max Mandatory 5 day grace period. Landlord may not evict over late fees. May be deducted from Security Deposit.
Florida No state limit but must be reasonable
Georgia No state limit but must be reasonable
Hawaii No state limit but must be reasonable
Idaho No state limit but must be reasonable
Illinois $20. Or 20% whichever is greater
Indiana No state limit but must be reasonable
Iowa $20. per day or $100. per mo / rent under $700., $60. mo
Kansas No state limit but must be reasonable
Kentucky No state limit but must be reasonable
Louisiana No state limit but LA consumer credit law limits to 5% or $10. Whichever is more
Maine 4% max after 15 days grace period
Maryland 5% max after 5 day grace period
Massachusetts No state limit but 30 day grace period. May evict if unpaid after 30
Michigan No state limit but must be reasonable
Minnesota 8% of the rent that is past due
Mississippi No state limit but must be reasonable
Missouri No state limit but must be reasonable
Montana No state limit but must be reasonable
Nebraska No state limit
Nevada 5% of the rent amount
New Hampshire Limited to the amount of the rent
New Jersey Seniors: 5 day grace period / Others: 1 day after rent is late
New Mexico Limited to 10% of the amount of the rent
New York Mandatory 5 day grace period limit to 5% of the rent
North Carolina 5% of the rent amount or $15. of monthly rent whichever is greater
North Dakota No state limit but must be reasonable
Ohio No state limit but must be reasonable
Oklahoma No state limit but must be reasonable and relate to incurred costs of landlord
Oregon 4 day grace period. reasonable and relate to incurred costs of landlord Daily late fees limited to 6% of any late fee charge or 5% max of the monthly rent
Pennsylvania No state limit but must be reasonable
Rhode Island No limit. Must be reasonable and relate to actual costs of landlord
South Carolina No limit. Must be reasonable and relate to actual costs of landlord
South Dakota No state limit but must be reasonable
Tennessee Mandatory 5 day grace period. Limit of 10% of the rent, but max of $30.
Texas Mandatory 1 day grace period. 12% max of the monthly rent (Structures less than 4 units) (4 or mor units: 10% max)
Utah No state limit but must be reasonable
Vermont Limited to actual costs incurred by landlord as a result of tenant paying late
Virginia No limit but must be reasonable. Mandatory 5 day grace period
Washington No state limit
West Virginia No state limit
Wisconsin Mandatory 5 day grace period. $20. Or 20% of rent whichever is greater. May charge more if landlord can prove it is reasonable.
Wyoming No statute

Eviction Laws

A landlord may begin the eviction process when payment of rent is not received and after delivering the correct forms. However, each state has different laws regarding when payment grace periods and when the eviction process can begin.

State # of Days Notice to Terminate
Alabama 30 days
Alaska 30 days
Arizona 30 days
Arkansas 30 days
California 30 days or 60 days depending on Increase 10% or more
Colorado 21 days
Connecticut 3 days from landlord
Delaware 60 Days
District of Columbia 30 days
Florida 15 Days
Georgia 60 days for landlord to terminate Ė 30 days for tenant
Hawaii 45 days for landlord or 28 days for notice from tenant
Idaho 30 days
Illinois 30 days
Indiana 30 days
Iowa 30 days
Kansas 30 days
Kentucky 30 days
Louisiana 10 days
Maine 30 days
Maryland 90 days (60 days Montgomery County)
Massachusetts 30 days
Michigan 30 days
Minnesota 1 mo. if rent is due monthly. (Intervals of when rent is due)
Mississippi 30 days
Missouri 30 days
Montana 30 days
Nebraska 30 days
Nevada 30 days
New Hampshire 30 days
New Jersey 30 days
New Mexico 30 days
New York 30 days or 90 days with rent increase 5% or more
North Carolina 7 days
North Dakota 1 month
Ohio 30 days
Oklahoma 30 days
Oregon 30 days within 1st year / after that 90 days. (Portland and Milwaukie require 90 days notice to tenant) Landlords with 5 or more residential dwellings must pay tenant the equivalent of 1 monthís rent.
Pennsylvania 15 days
Rhode Island 30 days
South Carolina 30 days
South Dakota 1 month
Tennessee 30 days
Texas 1 month
Utah 15 days
Vermont 30 days
Virginia 30 days
Washington 60 days (for lease 6 mo. Ė 1 year or more)
West Virginia 1 month
Wisconsin 28 days
Wyoming No statute

Landlord Access Rules

Each state requires that reasonable notice should be given to the tenant before entry is made by the landlord. It can be hand delivered, posted or placed under their door, or mailed to them 6 days prior to the entry date.

State Notice Period Chart

For # of Days to Cure Default with Pay Rent or Quit Notice This is the number of days the tenant has to pay before the landlord may file for eviction

State # of Days Notice
Alabama 7 days
Alaska 7 days
Arizona 5 days
Arkansas 3 days
California 3 days
Colorado 10 days
Connecticut 9 days
Delaware 5 Days
District of Columbia 30 daysWhen rent is past due $600. or more and a) tenant fails to submit an emergency assistance application within 60 days of past due rent notice, b) tenantís emergency application is denied, or the claim is approved with a balance of over $600. remaining unpaid and the parties havenít established a rent payment plan within 14 days of the denial; or c) the tenant has a rent payment plan and is more than $600. Or 2 mos. behind on the terms of the payment plan whichever is greater. Confusing, right?
Florida 3 Days
Georgia 0 Landlord may demand rent when due and may file for eviction immediately. Then 7 days to avoid court eviction.
Hawaii 5
Idaho 3 days
Illinois 5 days
Indiana 10 days
Iowa 3 days
Kansas 3 days (5 total if mailing)
Kentucky 7 days
Louisiana Landlord may terminate with an Unconditional Quit Notice
Maine 7 days
Maryland 10 Days
Massachusetts As agreed in Lease
Michigan 7 days
Minnesota 14 Days
Mississippi 3 days
Missouri Landlord may terminate with an Unconditional Quit Notice
Montana 3 days
Nebraska 7 days
Nevada 7 days
New Hampshire 7 days
New Jersey Landlord may terminate with an Unconditional Quit Notice
New Mexico 3 days
New York 14 days
North Carolina 10 days
North Dakota 3 days late, Landlord may terminate with an Unconditional Quit Notice
Ohio Ohio Landlord may terminate with an Unconditional Quit Notice
Oklahoma 5 days
Oregon 6 days
Pennsylvania 10 days
Rhode Island 5 days
South Carolina 5 days late and Lease specifies in bold type that Landlord may file for eviction after 5 days overdue.
South Dakota 3 days, may terminate with an Unconditional Quit Notice
Tennessee 14 days
Texas 3 days or according to agreement specified in lease
Utah 3 business days
Vermont 14 days
Virginia 5 days
Washington 14 days
West Virginia Landlord may file eviction immediately. No notice required, no opportunity to cure.
Wisconsin 5 days
Wyoming 3 day Unconditional Quit Notice before filing for eviction

Important Disclosures & Addendums
Lease agreements are solid legal documents on their own, but sometimes you need to include details that are specific to your tenantís situation. Below are some of the addendums that give guidelines to the different circumstances landlords encounter.

Early Occupancy Addendum

The Early Occupancy addendum protects the landlord when the tenant moves in before the lease agreement starts.

No Smoking Addendum

The No Smoking addendum emphasizes that smoking prohibited in the rental. It can also be used as a notice to inform tenants that they are in violation of the no smoking clause in the lease agreement. If the lease agreement the landlord enforces doesnít have a no smoking clause, this addendum will hold the tenant accountable to a no smoking policy. This clause is included in the LPA lease agreement.

Furnished Unit Addendum

The furnished unit addendum entitles the landlord to inspections of the rental property using the inventory checklist to ensure that none of the included items, such as appliances or furniture have been lost or damaged during the current tenantís occupancy. The clause is included in the LPA lease agreement.

Pet Addendum

The pet addendum contains key components of any lease that includes a pet. It includes a revocable privilege extended to the tenant in exchange for a promise and guarantee that the pet will be supervised responsibly.

First Right of Refusal Addendum

The first right of refusal addendum gives the tenant peace of mind in knowing that the property will not be sold out from under them and that they will have the opportunity to purchase it first in case the property becomes available for sale.

Appliance Addendum with Repair Clause

There are two versions of the appliance addendum at the LPA. This one with the repair clause explains what the tenantís responsibilities are in regards to appliances and repairs.

Rent Increase Letter

The rent increase letter informs the tenant about an upcoming rent increase, provided that the lease the landlord uses includes a provision for annual increases. The LPA Lease agreement includes this clause, but landlords can provide this rent increase letter to tenants as a reminder.

Late Charges Due Notice

The late charges due notice reminds the tenant that the rent was paid late and a late fee is still due. Past due penalties become added rent, which can put a tenantís lease in default standing.

Security Deposit Return Letter

When the tenant has complied with all obligations in their tenancy and they are refunded their entire security deposit, send this letter to them along with the security deposit refund receipt.

Security Deposit Settlement Charges Guide

Tenants will appreciate knowing exactly what charges have been deducted from their security deposit. The itemized security deposit deduction letter helps landlords organize the list of charges and let tenants know what they are responsible for.

Gain access to over 100 addendums, property management, and landlord forms through the LPA membership.

Lease Agreement Terms Glossary

Access - giving the tenant the ability to enter the rental property

Landlord (lessor) - A landlord is a person who owns land, a house, or apartment and rents or leases the various properties to tenants.

Security Deposit - A security deposit is an amount of money thatís intended to cover damages to the premises beyond normal wear and tear. The security deposit can be returned to the tenant if they abide by the terms of the lease and do not damage the property. Usually, a security deposit can be equal to one monthís rent or an amount in accordance with local laws.

Periodic Tenancy - Periodic tenancy is the possession of a property that doesnít include a determined end date. While a fixed tenancy includes a fixed end per the terms of the lease, a periodic tenancy is determined by the tenant. Periodic tenancies are common with month-to-month rental agreements.

Cosigner - A cosigner is a third-party person that doesnít live on the rental property, but is responsible for paying rent if the tenant doesnít pay it.

Renters Insurance - Renters insurance protects the personal property of a tenant from unexpected circumstances such as fire, lightning, windstorm, plumbing system, theft, vandalism and so on. When acquiring renters insurance, be sure to know the specific coverages available through the policy.

Sections of the Lease Agreement

The Parties, Tenant & Property
The first part of the LPA Lease includes the names of the owner and tenant, the location of the property, and the starting date and ending date of the lease. Any and all amounts are listed as being received by the owner including security deposit, last monthís rent received, along with any and all specific deposits and charges associated with the rental.

  1. Term
    Under terms, the start and end date of the lease is clearly defined along with any approved termination clauses.
  2. Rent
    The rent amount is set per month along with the day of the month that rent is due. The lease also includes the tenantís responsibility of payment, including the full amount and addition charges for non-payment.
  3. Late Fees and Added Rent
    Late fees are defined in section 3, including how much and when they are charged.
  4. Rent Discounts
    Rent discounts, if the owner opts to utilize them, are outlined.
  5. Use This section of the lease specifies how many people may be in the lease and includes provisions of what constitutes a guest, violations, and additional charges.
  6. Utilities
    The tenant's responsibility for payment of utilities.
  7. House Rules
    House rules regarding excessive noise, odors, pets, proper disposal of trash, and parking guidelines are outlined.
  8. Maintenance and Repairs
    Maintenance and repair information including sections of the rental and the definition of "show condition".
  9. Ordinances & Statutes
    A notice for the tenant to comply with all state and federal laws.
  10. Space "As Is"
    The tenant is in agreement that the rental is in good condition and accepts the premises "as is".
  11. Assignment and Subletting
    Covers if assignment or subletting is allowed for the leased premises.
  12. Pets
    Pets are not allowed in the premises without prior written consent from the owner.
  13. Pests
    Tenants responsibility regarding pest and wildlife infestations during the tenancy.
  14. Appliances
    Lists the appliances in the rental and the tenants responsibility for proper care.
  15. Plumbing Stoppages
    Covers plumbing problems and who is responsible to remedy.
  16. Heating & Cooling Systems
    Service agreements related to the heating and cooling systems.
  17. Fuel Oil Adjustment
    Fuel tank readings and any necessary payments.
  18. Right of Entry for Periodic Inspection
    The rights of landlord access to the property and notice periods.
  19. Indemnification
    Owner not responsible for damage or injury to tenants unless through owner negligence.
  20. Possession
    Guidelines regarding when the property will be delivered to the tenant and any delays and ramifications.
  21. Security
    Information regarding the security deposit and how it can be applied to money owed or damages through the lease term.
  22. Deposit Refunds
    When a deposit refund will be returned to the tenant and under what circumstances.
  23. Waiver
    Waiver statement that covers the entire lease.
  24. Real Estate Commission
    The guidelines of any real estate commissions involved in obtaining the lease.
  25. Default
    The guidelines that constitute default by the tenant and the steps that must take place if the default is not cured.
  26. Daily Rental
    Rent is to be paid monthly, but if the tenant is in default, then the rental can become a daily rental and what the tenant will also pay to bring the rent current or face eviction.
  27. Attorneyís Fees
    Covers who is responsible for attorney's fees in the event of legal action.
  28. Notices
    How the parties will legally notify each other throughout the lease term.
  29. Holding Over
    Defines hold over and that lease terms still apply in holdover situations.
  30. Time
    A statement about time in the lease period.
  31. Insurance
    Details regarding the necessity of Renterís Insurance.
  32. Successors
    Will someone succeed the the tenant?
  33. Tenancy & Service of Process
    The responsibility of all parties who sign the lease.
  34. Telephone
    Telephone at the rental and that the owner must be notified of the number within a specific number of days.
  35. Fences
    Is the tenant responsible for maintaining any fences on the property?
  36. Lockouts
    How lockouts performed by the tenant are handled, whether by locksmith or contacting the tenant or their agent.
  37. Cleaning Fee
    The cleaning fee associated with the rental in the event that the tenant doesnít live up to their responsibility.
  38. Bankruptcy
    What happens in the event the tenant files for bankruptcy.
  39. Withholding Rent
    Withholding rent is not allowed. If rent is withheld, it is a violation of the lease and cause for immediate eviction.
  40. Smoke Detector(s), Fire Extinguisher
    Tenant acknowledgement of smoke detectors/fire extinguishers on the property and the proper care for each.
  41. Vehicles
    The number of vehicles allowed on the property and parking guidelines.
  42. Fireplace
    Outlines the tenantís responsibilities if the premises has a fireplace.
  43. No Smoking
    Is smoking is prohibited on the premises?
  44. Waterbeds
    The guidelines regarding a waterbed. This can include additional addendums.
  45. Abandonment
    What constitutes abandonment and what the ramifications of such.
  46. Lead Paint Disclosure
    The definition and reason for the lead based disclosure.
  47. Illegality
    What happens if any part of the lease is not legally enforceable.
  48. Option to Renew Lease
    The guidelines of lease renewal.
  49. Forms & Notices
    An acknowledgement by the tenant that they have received certain forms.
  50. Entire Agreement
    Information regarding the lease and any modifications to the lease.
  51. Acknowledgement
    Tenant acknowledges that they understand the lease agreement and has received a copy.

Rental Agreements Make Details Clear

The key to being a great landlord and having great tenants is clear terms and guidelines that are in the lease and understood by all parties. Landlords would be wise to ensure that all parts of the lease are understood by the tenants as they go through the lease signing process. Providing a way for tenants to reach them with any questions about the lease later on would be beneficial as well.

Some states require a lease by law and there are laws regarding certain lease sections, such as maximum security deposit amounts that landlords must adhere to.

Guidelines for the tenant that have proven to be helpful in a lease include: the start and end dates of the lease, security deposit amounts, stipulations and information regarding deductions from the security deposit, move-in and move-out guidelines, providing addendums to specific tenant situations, guidelines for rent increases, details regarding appliances, furnishings, and grounds or general maintenance responsibilities.

FAQs

A rent-to-own lease agreement is a lease that gives the tenant the option to purchase the property from the landlord before the rental term expires.

Yes. Renting a room is similar to renting a house. The lease agreement should outline the terms and responsibilities of the tenant while they are renting a portion of the house.

Renting or leasing without a lease agreement is not a wise decision. A lease serves as a legally binding agreement between two parties, landlord and tenant, and addresses the responsibilities and conflict resolution processes for each party during the term of the lease agreement.

At a basic level, the landlord is responsible for providing a habitable rental property, selecting the tenant(s), making repairs (unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement), and collecting rent from the tenant(s) and abiding by housing laws for all activities associated with the lease including evictions.

It would be wise to include the following items in a lease agreement: security deposit amount and how the tenant can get a full security deposit returned, and when the tenant will get it. Specific payment requirements including how to pay and when rent is considered late. Late rent fees, rent increase information, landlord access and notice requirements, rental agreement disclosures and any specific addendums that may be needed due to the tenantís situation.

Depending on the use case, a fully executed rental agreement can be used as a proof of address since it includes the address and is signed by the tenant and the landlord.

A lease is generally considered binding once signed. If you sign it, you must abide by the terms of the agreement. But there are ways to end a lease early without incurring penalties. Some leases offer a grace period where you can cancel up to seven days before the start date. This give you enough time to find another place to live. The details of any cancellation terms should be in the lease. Tenants can also consult local real estate laws.

If the landlord is in violation of the terms of the lease, the tenant is required to send a certified letter disclosing the specific violation. After a certain number of days pass, the tenant is allowed to terminate the lease. The tenant may also be entitled to damages from landlord negligence.

If the tenant is in violation of the lease, the landlord is required to give the tenant a notice to quit. This notification must state what the problem is and provide instructions on how to fix the matter. The tenant will have a certain number of days as described by state law. Failure to do this could lead the landlord to evict the tenant.

In some states, tenants are given additional time to cure issues. However, there are limits to this extension. Some states limit the amount of time that landlords can extend the notice to quit to one hundred twenty (120) days.

Some states require landlords to give tenants thirty (30) days written notice prior to terminating the lease. Others allow for sixty (60) days written notice.

In most standard lease agreements, tenants are prohibited from subletting. This means they cannot rent out the property without permission. However, there are exceptions. For example, landlords usually allow tenants to sublease the property if it is vacant, and if the tenant pays the full amount of rent due under the original lease agreement. Landlords do not typically want to lose money because of a tenantís inability to pay rent.

If the tenant would like to make use of the property, he or she must obtain written consent from the landlord, and the landlord has every right to refuse the request. Some states even require landlords to approve subleases. A few states, such as California, New York, and Texas, even require landlords to give tenants notice about their right to sublease.

Local laws vary, but in many areas, there are specific requirements on what you can and cannot include in a lease agreement. For example, some states prohibit discrimination against people because of their race, national origin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. Others restrict how much information you can request about applicants. In addition, some states require landlords to disclose the financial institution that holds tenants' deposits.

If you're thinking about including anything in your Lease Agreement that could potentially violate local law, it's best to consult legal counsel. They can help ensure that your contract complies with local regulations.

A landlord-tenant lawyer usually costs anywhere between $200 and 500 dollars per hour depending on where you live. But there are ways around paying high hourly rates while still getting a lease that will protect you and your property. One way is to use a service like The LPA. We offer 100+ lease agreements, addendums, rent collection, and property management forms for landlords that will protect your investment and give you peace of mind.

The signed lease should be stored in a safe place. Additionally, an executed copy of the lease should be given to all tenants named in the lease. The landlord should have the lease readily available should any issues arise during the lease term.

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