Residential Lease Agreements
The General Definition of a Lease
A lease is a contract between a lessor (landlord) and lessee (tenant), wherein the lessee is legally permitted to use the property being leased, with restrictions, in exchange for monetary compensation. Ownership of the property does not typically change hands unless a rent-to-own (lease-to-own; or option to purchase) clause is included. However, the lease is legally binding with protections in place for both parties. The property being leased can be residential or commercial in nature. A lease is a form of an incorporeal right.
US Legal Forms offers state-specific Residential Lease forms and form packages. Visit website to download the needed form.
What is a Residential Lease Agreement?
A residential lease agreement is a lease for a residential property for use by a tenant as a living space, as opposed to a commercial property that is zoned by a municipality for the purpose of conducting business. While in general there may be contractual variations between properties, municipalities, and states, there are fundamental components that are typically indistinguishable between residential rental agreements.
Residential Lease Breakdown
A standard lease agreement isn’t just a single form, it’s a series of documents that protect lessors from liability and lessees from negligent landlords. For a state-specific standard residential lease form, follow this link and select your state. While some laws vary from state to state, we’ll be using the residential lease agreement form package as a reference in this article, you can find it here.
The key components of the Floridian rental lease agreement package are as follows:
Residential Lease Application
The residential lease application is a fairly straightforward form that collects key information from the potential tenant, including their intended length of residence; their history with bankruptcies; if there are judgments against them or they are a party to a lawsuit at this time; their banking information; credit references; previous evictions; emergency contacts; credit cards; consent to a credit check; and motor vehicle information. While this information may appear excessive in some regions, it reassures the landlord that the individual applying is reliable and will not damage the property or flee without paying.
Consent to Background and Reference Check
This next lease agreement pdf grants the landlord the right to perform a reference and background check to ensure that the tenant’s identity is legally valid and that the landlord isn’t blindly walking into a bad situation.
Salary Verification for Potential Lease or Loan
This form is intended to verify the income of the potential tenant as well as the amount they earn so that the landlord is better able to understand if the tenant will be able to reliably pay on time.
Residential Lease Agreement (Term or Month-to-Month)
This lease agreement form stipulates the terms of a tenant’s residence such as what happens upon the tenant’s failure to pay rent; the landlord’s duties and responsibilities; what contingencies are in place if the landlord fails to meet their obligations; the terms in which the agreement can be terminated; liability protections for the landlord; the requirements for the condition in which the property is maintained; restrictions on alterations to the property; and more.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (Rental)
The disclosure regarding lead paints is required for all homes that were built prior to 1978 to warn and inform the future tenant about the dangers and whether or not lead-based paints were known to have been used in the home, as well as to release the landlord from liability.
Inventory and Condition of Leased Premises: Pre-and-Post-Lease
These forms catalog and confirm the condition, existence, and foreknowledge of all furnishings, furniture, fixtures, personal property, and appliances on the premises wherein the tenant is responsible for ensuring that they are maintained and kept in good condition.
Tenant Welcome Letter
The welcome letter is designed to give the new tenant information regarding utility providers and when the tenant must appear to deliver rent.
Warning Notice for Failure to Pay Rent
The next document in our template to lease is the warning notice that is used when a tenant is behind on a payment and includes the actions that will follow if rent remains unpaid.
3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Lease Terminates (Residence)
The 3-day notice is a warning letter allowing the tenant time to make a late payment while also warning of the consequences of further delays, which may lead to a termination of the lease.
7-Day Notice of Material Noncompliance with Residential Lease
The 7-day notice grants 7 days to resolve any unpaid rent, failure to do so will lead to termination of the lease and subsequent eviction if the tenant does not vacate the premises in the allotted time.
Landlord-Tenant Closing Statement
The closing statement is provided when a lease has concluded and details the security deposit; information of the landlord and tenant; total charges; any damages and cleaning charges; and any remaining credits or debts to be paid by either party. Out of all of the forms in the printable lease agreement, this is probably the most time-consuming to complete with 100% accuracy.
Is There a Legal Difference Between a Lease and Rental Agreement?
Within the United States, there isn’t much in the way of a legal distinction between a lease and rental agreement. Typically, the terms can be used interchangeably without affecting the meaning of the statement.
How to Fill Out a Residential Lease Agreement?
To start, it’s important to have all the information about the property at hand, including personal items on the premises, as well as all information regarding the future tenant and costs. When preparing the form, you will need to complete the following (the tenant can only fill out some fields unless you’ve already collected the information to prepare the document):
- The first and last names of both the lessee and lessor
- The address of the property to be leased
- A complete list of those who will be occupying the property
- The start and end date of the lease
- The agreed-upon amount of monthly rent
- The day of each month that rent is due
- The grace period you’ll permit for late payments before issuing notices
- The method(s) in which the tenant will pay
- The lessor’s legal name or business name in which rent is payable to
- Where the rent payments are sent
- Which utilities are under the prevue of the tenant
- Which utilities are under the prevue of the landlord
- Any additional provisions
- The amount of the security deposit
- Where and how the security deposit is secured
- Any expected absence(s) of the tenant for 7 days or more
- Whether or not the home was built prior to 1978
Residential Lease Templates
While it is possible to create your own blank lease agreement documents, it’s always best to seek legal counsel to avoid any unnecessary liability or other issues in the future that you may not have considered. However, if you are sure it’s the route you would prefer to take, you can find a state-specific printable residential lease agreement on our website for reference (simply follow the link and select your state).
Whether you’re looking to rent out your home or rent a home, it’s always a good idea to have a full understanding of what to expect from contracts like the residential lease form. As you can see, the process of vetting tenants isn’t nearly as tedious as it is made to seem. Though there are many forms and clauses required to protect both tenants and landlords, the rewards are well worth the effort.