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Rental Agreements

What is a rental agreement?

A rental agreement is sometimes called a lease or a tenancy agreement. It is a binding written or oral contract between parties to establish or modify the terms, conditions and rules concerning one of the party’s use and occupancy of a residential premises.

A rental agreement may create a tenancy from week to week, month to month, year to year, or any other amount of time that the parties agree to. For the protection of both landlord and tenant, it is a good idea to make it clear how the lease may be terminated.

If there is no written lease, the landlord or the tenant may end a week-to-week tenancy by giving the other party at least seven days’ notice before the day of termination. Both parties may end a month-to-month tenancy by giving the other party at least 30 days' notice before the end of the current monthly term. 

Most residential leases include the following information:

  • The names of the tenant and landlord
  • The address of the rental unit
  • The date the agreement is entered into
  • The address and telephone number of the landlord or landlord’s agent
  • The date the tenancy will start
  • The tenancy period, whether it is on a weekly, monthly, or other basis
  • Terms for what happens at the end of the tenancy period
  • The amount of rent and when rent is due
  • The terms and conditions of occupancy
  • What services and facilities are included in rent
  • The amount of security deposit or pet deposit required, and the date it must be paid

A residential lease is a contract between the landlord and the tenant. It is for BOTH parties. It should provide clear direction regarding the terms, conditions and rules of use for a residential premises. Usually, the landlord prepares the lease. For this reason, a court will usually decide any confusing or unclear terms against the landlord and in favor of the tenant. 

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