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Real estate lease agreements are lawfully binding contracts that define the terms and conditions for renting a property. These agreements generally cover the lease term, rent payments, security deposits, and maintenance obligations. A well-crafted lease contract can protect both the owner and the lessee and help to prevent misunderstandings and disputes.
Tips for Creating an Effective Lease Agreement
An effective lease agreement is comprehensive, clearly outlines the obligations of both parties, and guarantees that the property is well-maintained throughout the lease term.
- Clearly Define the Rental Period: The lease agreement should define the start and end date of the rental period, along with any renewal options. It will ensure that both parties are clear about the duration of the lease and any options for extending it.
- Be Clear with Property Details: The lease contract should comprise the specific property being leased, including the address, unit number, and any special attributes or amenities. It will help avoid confusion or disagreements about the property being rented.
- Define the Security Deposit: The lease agreement should comprise the security deposit amount and any prerequisites for its return at the end of the lease. It will help avoid conflicts over the security deposit and ensure that it is returned promptly at the end of the lease.
- Include Rent Amount and Payment Terms: The lease agreement should clearly state the rent amount and how it will be paid, including the due date and any penalties for late payment. It should also specify the payment method, such as online or by check.
- Describe Landlord Obligations: The lease agreement should also clearly explain the landlord's obligations, such as maintaining the property and making required repairs. It will guarantee that the property is well-maintained throughout the lease duration.
- Specify Tenant Obligations: The lease agreement should clearly define the tenant's obligations, such as maintaining the property and paying for any impairments caused by their actions. It should also specify any limitations on the use of the property, such as no smoking or pets.
- Include Termination Clause: The lease agreement should specify the circumstances under which either party can end the lease, such as a breach of an agreement or non-payment of rent. It will help avoid conflicts and ensure both parties understand their rights and responsibilities.
Types of Real Estate Lease Agreements
There are numerous real estate lease agreements, each with unique features and advantages. Below are some prominent types of real estate lease agreements.
- Periodic Lease Agreement: A periodic lease agreement, also known as a month-to-month lease, is an agreement that renews automatically after a specified period. This lease agreement is flexible, as the tenant can move out at any month's end. However, the landlord can also terminate the lease with proper notice.
- Fixed-Term Lease Agreement: A fixed-term lease agreement, also known as a lease for a specific term, is an agreement that specifies a fixed duration for the lease. This type of lease typically lasts for a year, but the duration can vary depending on the agreement between the landlord and the tenant. This type of lease provides security and stability for both parties, as the terms and conditions of the lease cannot be changed until the lease expires.
- Gross Lease Agreement: A gross lease agreement is an agreement where the landlord pays all the property's operating expenses, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. This lease agreement is commonly used in commercial real estate and provides simplicity for tenants, as they do not have to worry about additional costs.
- Net Lease Agreement: A net lease agreement is an agreement where the tenant is responsible for paying for some or all of the property's operating expenses in addition to rent. This lease agreement is commonly used in commercial real estate and provides flexibility for both parties, as the lease terms can be negotiated to fit the needs of the tenant and the landlord.
Components of a Real Estate Lease Agreement
Below are some essential elements of a real estate lease agreement.
The lease agreement should clearly define the property, including the address and specific details, such as the number of bedrooms, restrooms, and square footage. Those should also be identified if the lease includes a parking spot, storage unit, or other amenities.
Another section of a lease agreement should determine the parties involved, including the owner and lessee(s). This section should comprise their full names, addresses, and contact details. If there is more than one lessee, the contract should define if they are jointly or severally accountable for the lease.
The lease term is the duration of the lease, and it should be clearly stated in the agreement. It could be a fixed term, such as 12 months or a month-to-month lease. The agreement should also state the start date and end date of the lease.
The lease agreement should outline the amount of rent the tenant is required to pay and the payment schedule. This section should also include details on late payment fees and the consequences of non-payment. The agreement should specify the payment method and the address where the rent should be sent.
The security deposit is a sum of money paid by the tenant at the start of the lease to protect the landlord from any damages or unpaid rent. The lease agreement should specify the deposit amount, how it will be held, and the conditions under which it will be refunded at the end of the lease.
Maintenance and Repairs
The lease agreement should outline the responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant regarding maintenance and repairs. It should specify who is responsible for minor repairs and maintenance, such as changing light bulbs and mowing the lawn, and who is responsible for major repairs, such as fixing a broken appliance or repairing a leaky roof.
Use of the Property
The lease agreement should outline the permitted use of the property. For instance, if the property is a residential unit, the agreement should specify that it is for residential use only and that no commercial activities are allowed. The agreement should also specify any restrictions on activities that could be considered a nuisance, such as loud parties or excessive noise.
Renewal and Termination
The lease agreement should specify the conditions under which the lease can be renewed or terminated. This section should include details on how much notice is required for both parties to terminate the lease and what happens if the tenant needs to move out before the end of the lease.
Key Terms for the Real Estate Lease Agreement
- Title: A statutory paper that proves ownership of a property.
- Property Management: Managing a rental property, including maintaining the property, collecting rent, and handling tenant matters.
- Easement: A legal privilege to use another individual's property for a specific purpose.
Final Thoughts on the Real Estate Lease Agreement
To summarize, real estate lease agreements are a crucial aspect of the real estate industry. Several types of lease agreements exist, each with unique features and benefits. Picking the right type of lease agreement is essential for both the landlord and the tenant, as it can provide security, flexibility, and predictability. It is essential to consult with a real estate professional when drafting a lease agreement to ensure that all terms and conditions are lawfully binding and mutually beneficial.
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Meet some of our Real Estate Lease Agreement Lawyers
October 26, 2021
Small firm offering business consultation and contract review services.
October 26, 2021
Scott graduated from Cardozo Law School and also has an English degree from Penn. His practice focuses on business law and contracts, with an emphasis on commercial transactions and negotiations, document drafting and review, employment, business formation, e-commerce, technology, healthcare, privacy, data security and compliance. While he's worked with large, established companies, he particularly enjoys collaborating with startups. Prior to starting his own practice in 2011, Scott worked in-house for over 5 years with businesses large and small. He also handles real estate leases, website and app Terms of Service and privacy policies, and pre- and post-nup agreements.
October 31, 2021
I am a commercial contracts attorney with twenty years of experience. I have represented major corporate clients including Amazon, Marvel, and Viacom as well as independent entertainment professionals and technology startups.
October 26, 2021
I am a corporate and business attorney in Orange County, CA. I advise start-ups, early-growth companies, investors, and entrepreneurs in various sectors and industries including technology, entertainment, digital media, healthcare, and biomedical.
October 28, 2021
Oscar is a St. Petersburg native. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Stetson University, College of Law. A former US Army Judge Advocate, Oscar has more than 20 years of experience in Estate Planning, Real Estate, Small Business, Probate, and Asset Protection law. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, and a second-generation Gator, he received a B.A. from the University of Florida and a J.D. from Stetson University’s College of Law. Oscar began working in real estate sales in 1994 prior to attending law school. He continued in real estate, small business law, and Asset Protection as an associate attorney with the firm on Bush, Ross, Gardner, Warren, & Rudy in 2002 before leaving to open his own practice. Oscar also held the position of Sales & Marketing Director for Ballast Point Homes separately from his law practice. He is also a licensed real estate broker and owner of a boutique real estate brokerage. As a captain in the US Army JAG Corps, he served as a Judge Advocate in the 3rd Infantry Division and then as Chief of Client Services, Schweinfurt, Germany, and Chief of Criminal Justice for the 200th MP Command, Ft. Meade, Maryland. He is a certified VA attorney representative and an active member of VARep, an organization of real estate and legal professionals dedicated to representing and educating veterans. Oscar focuses his practice on real small business and asset protection law.
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We help simplify every transaction and provide a superior level of customer service to create long lasting and trusted relationships with our clients. Our goal is to guide our clients with practical and zealous legal representation and eliminate the difficult nature of any legal transaction.
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Yoann E. A. L.
For over 15 years, I accumulated both hands-on technical and business experience as an IT engineer and entrepreneur, enabling me to understand your challenges probably better than anyone else on the legal market! My California-based full-online practice focuses on: - Intellectual Property (Copyright / Trademarks) - Privacy / Data Protection - Commercial matters (e.g. service contracts) - Corporate (e.g. incorporation, restructuring)