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Home Rental Agreement basics

If you decide to rent out a home you own, making a Home Rental Agreement is crucial to protect both you and your tenant. A Home Rental Agreement outlines the details of the legal agreement between you and your tenant, including the rights and responsibilities of each party.

When is a Home Rental Agreement document right for me?

A Home Rental Agreement protects both the landlord and tenant by setting forth the terms of the relationship between the parties in writing. Also referred to as a home rental contract or a renter's agreement, a Home Rental Agreement should be prepared and signed whenever a property is rented to reduce the likelihood of disputes.

Instead of paying a lawyer hundreds of dollars to make a lease, Rocket Lawyer lets you make a Home Rental Agreement for free. You might need a Home Rental Agreement if:

  • You own a home and wish to rent it out on a short- or long-term basis.
  • You are a renter and have reached an oral agreement to rent a home but wish to put that agreement in writing.
  • You work for a property management company or are otherwise responsible for managing a property (for example, for a family member) and you wish the terms of a rental agreement to be in writing.

What should I include in a rental agreement?

Your Home Rental Agreement should be tailored to meet any unusual or additional provisions of the agreement you reached with your tenant; however, some of the most common questions that should be answered in a Home Rental Agreement include:

  • How much is the monthly rent?
  • When and how must the rent be paid?
  • Is a security deposit required?
  • When does the rental period begin and end?
  • Who is responsible for repairs?
  • Who may live in the home?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is the tenant allowed to make changes to the property?
  • Can the tenant sublease the property?
  • What constitutes a default under the terms of the agreement?
  • What steps are required by either party if a dispute arises?

What types of tenancy agreements are there?

When renting out a home, there are four types of tenancy agreements that might be used, including:

  • Long-term lease – this refers to a lease agreement that locks the parties into the terms of the lease for a longer period of time, usually three years or more.
  • Short-term lease – most Home Rental Agreements qualify as short-term leases, meaning the duration of the lease is between one and two years. Both the landlord and tenant are obligated to abide by the terms of the agreement for the duration of the lease.
  • Month-to-month lease – this type of agreement only establishes a tenant's right to rent the property for a month at a time. All the terms of the agreement, including the rent, are subject to change on a monthly basis (subject to any notice requirements under the agreement or state law).
  • Sublease – this is a secondary agreement between an original tenant and a new tenant to lease some, or all, of the property.

Can I create a Home Rental Agreement online for free?

If you decide that a Home Rental Agreement is right for your situation, you can make, sign, and store your document online for free with Rocket Lawyer. As a Rocket Lawyer Premium member, you can download your Home Rental Agreement as a printable PDF or Word document, or you can make duplicates. You can also use your Rocket Lawyer membership to have your Home Rental Agreement reviewed by a local On Call attorney. Any questions about making a lease? Ask a lawyer.

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Sample Home Rental Agreement

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