Renting or leasing? The two terms are often used interchangeably, but the distinction is important because each is associated with it's own legal document—a Rental Agreement or a Lease Agreement.

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Rental agreements differ in several ways from leases.  The first is that standard rental agreements are month-to-month, there is no set period of residence or possession.  You as the tenant or your landlord are free at the end of each 30-day period to make adjustments to your rental agreement.  Your rent can increase, you can be forced to leave, or the terms of the agreement may change.  Most states require that the landlord or tenant to provide 30 days notice before the change.  Normally the rental agreement is renewed without explicit notice after each 30-day period, unless your landlord tells you to vacate your apartment.

Leases, unlike rental agreements, are for a set period of time, like one year or two years.  The leasee and lessor have to uphold all terms of the written agreement.  Unlike a rental agreement, neither party can change any terms of the agreement unless both parties agree to the change.  For example, your landlord cannot increase your rent until the leasing period is over.  While you are under the lease, you generally will make payments at a certain interval, most commonly monthly, as specified by the lease agreement.  The tenant must follow any rules or stipulations set by the landlord in the lease.  If the tenant decides to vacate the property early, the tenant will be in violation of the lease.

If you plan to have a tenant occupy a property for a very short duration, you should consider using a Rental Agreement.  If the tenant will reside in the property for a prolonged period of time, consider using a Lease.

Get started Start Your Lease Agreement Answer some questions. We’ll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Lease Agreement Answer some questions. We’ll take care of the rest.