Lease Agreement

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  • Sign it & make it legal

Learn more about Lease Agreements

A Lease Agreement can help you be a better landlord. This binding rental contract defines what your tenants can expect from you and what you expect from them. With the right details included, a written and signed Rental Agreement is the best way to start a mutually beneficial landlord-tenant relationship.

Learn more about how to use our free Lease Agreement template, what to include, and how to protect yourself and your property in this helpful guide for landlords and property managers.

"When preparing a residential lease agreement, make sure to list all adults who will be occupying the home. Having each adult tenant sign the rental agreement holds each one legally responsible for paying rent and keeping your property in good condition."

Samantha Dammer, Esq.
Rocket Lawyer On Call® Attorney

What is a Lease Agreement?

A Lease Agreement is a contract between two parties (a lessor and a lessee) that outlines the terms of renting property. When it comes to a residential rental, the lessor is the property owner or landlord, and the lessee is the tenant.

A signed Lease Agreement can help you avoid a lot of problems as a landlord. Without a Rental Agreement in place, there may be confusion over common topics, such as late fee amounts, if smoking is permitted, and if pets are allowed. A Rental Lease Agreement lets tenants know exactly what is expected of them while they live in your property. It defines what you will be responsible for as a landlord and what actions you'll take if the lease is not followed.

A Residential Lease Agreement may also be called: Rental Agreement Form, Rental Lease, Rental Contract, or Tenancy Agreement.

Do I need a Lease Agreement?

Even if you are renting to a friend or family member, it is smart to have more than just a verbal agreement. Specific terms discussed in a verbal rental agreement can easily be forgotten and relationships can go sour as a result. Verbal agreements are also much more difficult to prove, making it hard for them to be enforced in court.

When properly executed, Rental Lease Agreements can help landlords by:

  • Documenting the terms that the landlord and tenant have agreed to
  • Holding the tenant responsible for paying rent for the entirety of the lease term
  • Providing legal support during evictions and other legal disputes

A rental contract can also help to limit phone calls from tenants asking about common issues like acceptable rent payment methods and maintenance responsibilities.

In all, a Rental Agreement form helps to set the tone for your tenant's stay and helps you to manage your property consistently and effectively.

Tenant Screening

What type of property can a Lease Agreement be used for?

Our standard Lease Agreement form can be used for nearly any type of residential property including:

  • Apartments
  • Duplexes
  • Townhomes or condos
  • Single-family homes
  • Mobile homes
  • Long-term vacation rentals
  • Tiny homes
  • Short-term business travel rentals
  • A room in your own home

If you need to rent a business property, we also offer Commercial Lease Agreements.

Sample lease agreement

Making your free Rental Agreement with Rocket Lawyer is easy. Here's an example of what your finished document might look like:

Residential Lease

This Lease Agreement (this "Lease") is dated April 01, 2019, by and between Garcia Properties, LLC ("Landlord"), and Alex Smith and Quinn Davis ("Tenant"). Subject to the terms and conditions stated below the parties agree as follows:

  1. PREMISES. Landlord, in consideration of the lease payments provided in this Lease, leases to Tenant the following: One-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment on the third floor (the "Premises") located at 1622 Stevenson Place, Apt. 3, Los Altos, California 94023. No other portion of the building (hereinafter, the Building), wherein the Premises is located is included unless expressly provided for in this Agreement.
  2. TERM. The lease term will begin on April 01, 2019 ("Commencement Date") and will terminate on March 31, 2020.

    Tenant shall vacate the Premises upon termination of the Agreement, unless: (i) Landlord and Tenant have extended this Agreement in writing or signed a new agreement; (ii) mandated by local rent control law; or (iii) Landlord accepts Rent from Tenant (other than past due Rent), in which case a month-to-month tenancy shall be created which either party may terminate by Tenant giving Landlord written notice of at least 30 days prior to the desired termination date, or by Landlord giving Tenant written notice as provided by law. Rent shall be at a rate agreed to by Landlord and Tenant, or as allowed by law. All other terms and conditions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.

  3. RENT; LEASE PAYMENTS. "Rent" shall mean all monetary obligations of Tenant to Landlord under the terms of this Agreement, except the Security Deposit.

    (a) Tenant shall pay to Landlord initial monthly base lease payments of $2,000.00, payable in advance on the first day of each calendar month, and is delinquent on the next day. Lease payments shall be made to Landlord at the address of Landlord noted in the Notices provision of this Lease which may be changed from time to time by Landlord. If the Commencement Date of the Lease falls on any day other than the day Rent is payable under this provision, and Tenant has paid one full month's Rent in advance of the Commencement Date, Rent for the second calendar month shall be prorated based on a 30-day period.

    (b) Rent shall be paid by the following method(s):

    Personal Check

    If any payment is returned for non-sufficient funds or because Tenant stops payments, then, after that, (i) Landlord may, in writing, require Tenant to pay Rent in cash for three months and (ii) all future Rent shall be paid by cashier's check or money order.

    In the event of roommates, or another form of joint or multiple occupancy, Tenant will be responsible for collecting payment from all parties and submitting a single payment to Landlord. Tenant is responsible for any payment made by mail and not received by the due date state herein. Mailed lease payments must be received on or before the due date. Lease payments for any partial month will be pro-rated at the rate of 1/30th of the monthly lease payment per day.

    Landlord may apply any payment made by Tenant to any obligation owed by Tenant to Landlord regardless of any dates or directions provided by the Tenant that accompanies a payment. Any Landlord has full discretion to accept or reject payments from or written by third parties. Landlord's acceptance of a payment by a third party does not override the previous statement and Landlord will continue to have full discretion to accept or reject payments submitted or written by third parties. Monthly lease payments received in prior months to which the payment is due will be held by the Landlord uncashed in a secured location and deposited on the first of the month.

  4. SECURITY DEPOSIT. At the time of the signing of this Lease, Tenant shall pay to Landlord security deposit of $2,000.00 (the Security Deposit) for the purpose set forth in Civil Code Section 1950.5. No trust relationship between Landlord and Tenant is created because of the Security Deposit and Landlord has full authority to commingle the Security Deposit with other funds of Landlord.

    Landlord may apply all or a portion of the Security Deposit as allowed by law including, but not limited to, (i) Tenant's obligation to restore, replace or return personal property, (ii) cure Tenant's default in payment of Rent (including late charges, non-sufficient funds or other amount due), (iii) repair damage, excluding ordinary wear and tear, caused by Tenant or by a guest or licensee of Tenant, and (iv) clean the Premises, if necessary, upon termination of the tenancy. Landlord shall, within the time period allotted by law, refund any balance after such deductions to Tenant after Tenant has vacated the Premises. For the purposes of this paragraph Tenant will have vacated the Premises when Tenant returns all keys (and garage door openers) to Landlord and has surrendered the Premises. If required by law, Landlord shall pay to Tenant simple interest as directed by law on the amount held as a Security Deposit, so long as tenancy meets or exceeds one year. Payment shall be made by Landlord once a year. At the end of the Lease Landlord may use any unpaid accrued interest to cover any amounts owing my Tenant including but not limited to restoration, repair, cleaning or other amounts owing.

    The balance of the Security Deposit and any unpaid accrued interest, if any, along with full accounting will be mailed to the Tenant at forwarding address provided to the Landlord. If no forwarding address is provided, Landlord will mail to the Premises. Landlord's check may be made to all Tenants regardless of Landlord's knowledge of which Tenant submitted the original Security Deposit. Tenant may NOT apply any portion of the Security Deposit to the last month's rent. If any portion of the Security Deposit is applied by Landlord to any obligations of Tenant at any time during the tenancy Tenant must, upon 5 days written notice, reinstate the Security Deposit to its full original amount.

    Landlord may increase the security deposit at any time without notice up to the maximum allowed by law. Landlord and Tenant agree that the Security Deposit is not rent and therefore not subject to the Rent Ordinance.

    Upon the vacating of the Premises for termination of the lease, Landlord shall have twenty-one (21) days to return the security deposit to Tenant, minus any deductions for damages or other charges, together with an itemized list of any such deductions.

  5. POSSESSION. Tenant shall be entitled to possession on the first day of the term of this Lease, and shall yield possession to Landlord on the last day of the term of this Lease, unless otherwise agreed by both parties in writing. At the expiration of the term, Tenant shall remove its goods and effects and peaceably yield up the Premises to Landlord in as good a condition as when delivered to Tenant, ordinary wear and tear excepted.
  6. USE OF PREMISES/ABSENCES. Tenant shall occupy and use the Premises as a full-time residential dwelling unit. Tenant shall notify Landlord of any anticipated extended absence from the Premises not later than the first day of the extended absence.

    No retail, commercial or professional use of the Premises is allowed unless the Tenant receives prior written consent of the Landlord and such use conforms to applicable zoning laws. In such case, Landlord may require Tenant obtain liability insurance for the benefit of Landlord. Landlord reserves the right to refuse to consent to such use in its sole and absolute discretion.

  7. SMOKING. Smoking is prohibited in any area in or on the Premises and on the Property, both private and common, whether enclosed or outdoors. This policy applies to all owners, tenants, guests, employees, and servicepersons. The Tenant will be liable for any damages caused to the Premises or Property due to Tenant or Tenant's visitors or guests smoking in the Premises or Property. Any violation of this policy will be seen as a breach of this contract and Landlord will be entitled to all remedies allowable by law including eviction.

    Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the growing, cultivation, sale, or use in any form, of marijuana, for any purpose, is not permitted in or about the Premises, at any time, by Tenant, or Tenant's guests, invitees or friends.

    The failure to abide by the provisions of this section shall constitute a material breach of this Agreement and is a just cause for eviction.

  8. MANAGEMENT. The Tenant is hereby notified that Garcia Properties, LLC is the property manager in charge of the Property. Should the tenant have any issues or concerns the Tenant may contact Garcia Properties, LLC at 1482 Lindsey Road, Los Altos, California 94023, 415-555-1212,
  9. OCCUPANTS. No more than 3 person(s) may reside on the Premises unless the prior written consent of the Landlord is obtained.

    This Lease and occupancy of the Premises is binding, individually and severally, on each person(s) specifically named and who signs this Lease, regardless of the named person's occupancy of the Premises.

    Authorized Tenants/Occupants:

    Alex Smith
    Quinn Davis

    Tenant may have guests on the Premises for not over 7 consecutive days or 30 days in a calendar year, and no more than two guests per bedroom at any one time. Persons staying more than 7 consecutive days or more than 30 days in any calendar year shall NOT be considered original tenants of the Premises. Tenant must obtain the prior written approval of Landlord if an invitee of Tenant will be present at the Premises for more than 7 consecutive days or 30 days in a calendar year.

  10. WATERBEDS. Waterbeds and/or liquid filled furniture are PROHIBITED in accordance with Civil Code Section 1940.5. If the Premises are located in a structure with an original Certificate of Occupancy issued after January 1, 1973 then such furniture may be permitted only upon written consent of Landlord, upon the completion of a Waterbed Agreement which shall become part of this Agreement and subject to continued compliance by Tenant of all provisions therein.
  11. KEYS. Tenant will be given 2 key(s) to the Premises and 2 mailbox key(s). If all keys are not returned to Landlord following termination of the Lease, Tenant shall be charged $25.00. Tenant is not permitted to change any lock or place additional locking devices on any door or window of the Premises without Landlord's approval prior to installation. If allowed, Tenant must provide Landlord with keys to any changed lock immediately up installation.
  12. LOCKOUT. If Tenant becomes locked out of the Premises, Tenant will be charged $10.00 to regain entry.
  13. STORAGE. No additional storage space outside the Premises is provided or authorized by this Lease. Tenant shall not store any property in any area outside of the rented Premises at any time.
  14. ROOF/FIRE ESCAPES. Use of the roof and/or the fire escapes by Tenants and/or guests is limited to emergency use only. No other use is permitted, including but not limited to, the placement of personal property.
  15. PARKING. This Lease does not include or provide for parking spaces for motor vehicles or motorcycles anywhere in or about the Premises and or Building.
  16. MAINTENANCE. Landlord shall have the responsibility to maintain the Premises in reasonably good repair at all times and perform all repairs reasonably necessary to satisfy any implied warranty of habitability.

    Except in an emergency, all maintenance and repair requests must be made in writing and delivered to Landlord or its Agent. A repair request will be deemed permission for the Landlord or its Agent to enter the Premises to perform such maintenance or repairs in accordance with Civil Code Section 1954 and ACCESS BY LANDLORD TO PREMISES herein unless otherwise specifically requested, in writing, by Tenant. Tenant may not place any unreasonable restrictions upon Landlords or Landlord's Agents access or entry. Landlord shall have expectation that the Premises is in a safe and habitable condition upon entry.

    Tenant acknowledges that the Premises and the building from time to time may require renovations or repairs to keep them in good condition and repair and that such work may result in temporary loss of use of portions of the building or Premises and may inconvenience Tenant. Tenant agrees that any such loss shall not constitute a reduction in housing services or otherwise warrant a reduction in rent. Further, subject to local law, Tenant agrees, upon demand of Landlord, to temporarily vacate the Premises for a reasonable period, to allow for fumigation (or other methods) to control wood destroying pests or organisms, or other repairs to the Premises. Tenant agrees to comply with all instructions and requirements necessary to prepare Premises to accommodate pest control, fumigation or other work, including bagging or storage of food and medicine and removal of perishables and valuables. Tenant shall only be entitled to a credit of Rent equal to the per diem Rent for the period of time Tenant is required to vacate Premises.

    Tenant further agrees to cooperate in any efforts undertaken by Landlord to rid the Building and the Premises of pests of any kind. Failure of Tenant to cooperate may be deemed an obstruction of the free use of property so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property thereby constituting a nuisance.

    Tenant shall properly use, operate and safeguard Premises, including if applicable, any landscaping, furniture, furnishings, and appliances, and all mechanical, electrical, gas and plumbing fixtures, and keep them and the Premises clean, sanitary, and well ventilated. Tenant shall be responsible for checking and maintaining all smoke detectors. Tenant shall immediately notify Landlord, in writing, of any problem, malfunction, or damage. Tenant shall be charged for all repairs or replacements caused by Tenant, pets, guests, licensees or invitees of Tenant, excluding ordinary wear and tear. Tenant shall be charged for all damage to Premises as a result of failure to report a problem in a timely manner. Tenant shall be charged for repair of drain blockages or stoppages, unless caused by defective plumbing parts or tree roots invading sewer lines.


    Landlord shall be responsible for the following utilities and services in connection with the Premises:

    • Water and sewer
    • Garbage and trash disposal

    Tenant shall be responsible for the following utilities and services in connection with the Premises:

    • Electricity
    • Gas
    • Heating
    • Telephone service
    • Cable
    • Internet

    Tenant agrees to comply with any environmental, waste management, recycling, energy conservation, or water conservation programs implemented by Landlord. Tenant shall provide Landlord with proof of accounts established in Tenant's name for all utilities to be paid by Tenant. If utilities at Premises are metered by one or more Master Meters, Landlord reserves the right to measure Tenant's utility consumption through one or more sub-meters, and to bill Tenant for such utility use either directly or through a third party. Tenant understands that the rent paid by all residents is partially determined by the cost of utilities. Nothing contained herein prevents Landlord from passing through to Tenant utility costs as provided by law.

    Landlord shall provide one working telephone line and one working telephone jack into the Premises if required by local regulations or state law. Tenant shall be responsible for any repairs required or charges for service calls on any utility line, accessory or fixture.

    Tenant acknowledges that Landlord has fully explained to Tenant the utility rates, charges and services for which Tenant will be required to pay (if any), other than those to be paid directly to the utility company furnishing the service.

    Landlord shall not be liable to Tenant or to any other person in damages or otherwise, nor shall it be considered a default under this Lease for any interruption or reduction of utilities or services caused by someone other than Landlord, or by Landlord due to circumstances beyond Landlord's reasonable control.

  18. TAXES. Taxes attributable to the Premises or the use of the Premises shall be allocated as follows:

    REAL ESTATE TAXES. Landlord shall pay all real estate taxes and assessments for the Premises.

    PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES. Landlord shall pay all personal property taxes and any other charges which may be levied against the Premises which are attributable to Tenant's use of the Premises, along with all sales and/or use taxes (if any) that may be due in connection with lease payments.

  19. PROPERTY INSURANCE. Landlord and Tenant shall each be responsible to maintain appropriate insurance for their respective interests in the Premises and property located on the Premises.
  20. NON-SUFFICIENT FUNDS. Tenant will be charged a monetary fee of $25.00 as reimbursement of the expenses incurred by Landlord for the first check that is returned to Landlord for lack of sufficient funds and $35.00 for each subsequent check returned for lack of sufficient funds. This paragraph is in accordance with California Civil Code § 1719.

    Landlord reserves the right to demand future rent payments by cashier's check, money order or certified funds in the event a check is returned for insufficient funds. Nothing in this paragraph limits other remedies available to the Landlord as a payee of a dishonored check. Landlord and Tenant agree that three (3) returned checks in any 12 month period constitutes frequent return of checks due to insufficient funds and may be considered a just cause for eviction.

  21. LATE PAYMENTS. Tenant and Landlord agree that Landlord will incur costs and damage as a result of any late payment of lease payments. Due to the difficulty involved in assessing the exact amount of damages, Tenant and Landlord agree to the following set late fee. For each payment that is not paid within 7 days after its due date, Tenant shall pay a late fee equal to 5% of the required payment.

    This provision for payment of a late charge does not constitute a grace period and Landlord may serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit on the day after due. Landlord and Tenant agree Tenant's payment of lease payments five days or more after due on at least three separate occasions within any twelve month period constitutes habitual late payment of lease payments and may be considered a just cause for eviction. Payment of the late charge does not remedy the late payment for purposes of establishing habitual late payment of rent.

  22. FAILURE TO PAY. Pursuant to Civil Code Section 1785.26, you are hereby notified that a negative credit report reflecting on your credit record may be submitted to a credit reporting agency if you fail to fulfill the terms of your credit obligations, such as your financial obligations under the terms of this Agreement.
  23. DEFAULTS. Tenant shall be in default of this Lease if Tenant fails to fulfill any lease obligation or term by which Tenant is bound. Subject to any governing provisions of law to the contrary, if Tenant fails to cure any financial obligation within 7 days (or any other obligation within 14 days) after written notice of such default is provided by Landlord to Tenant, Landlord may elect to cure such default and the cost of such action shall be added to Tenant's financial obligations under this Lease. All sums of money or charges required to be paid by Tenant under this Lease shall be additional rent, whether or not such sums or charges are designated as "additional rent". The rights provided by this paragraph are cumulative in nature and are in addition to any other rights afforded by law.
  24. EARLY TERMINATION CLAUSE. Tenant may, upon 30 days' written notice to Landlord, terminate this lease provided that the Tenant pays a termination charge equal to $6,000.00 or the maximum allowable by law, whichever is less. Termination will be effective as of the last day of the calendar month following the end of the 30 day notice period. Termination charge will be in addition to all rent due up to the termination day.
  25. MILITARY TERMINATION CLAUSE. In the event the Tenant is, or hereafter becomes, a member of the United States Armed Forces on extended active duty and hereafter the Tenant receives permanent change of station orders to depart from the area where the Premises are located; is relieved from active duty, retires or separates from the military; or is ordered into military housing, the Tenant may terminate this lease upon giving thirty (30) days; written notice to the Landlord. The Tenant shall also provide to the Landlord a copy of the official orders or a letter signed by the Tenant's commanding officer reflecting the change that warrants termination under this clause. The Tenant will pay prorated rent for any days he or she occupies the dwelling past the first day of the month. Any security deposit will be promptly returned to the Tenant, provided there are no damages to the Premises.
  26. HABITABILITY. Tenant has inspected the Premises and fixtures (or has had the Premises inspected on behalf of Tenant), and acknowledges that the Premises are in a reasonable and acceptable condition of habitability for their intended use, and the agreed lease payments are fair and reasonable. If the condition changes so that, in Tenant's opinion, the habitability and rental value of the Premises are adversely affected, Tenant shall promptly provide reasonable notice to Landlord.
  27. HOLDOVER. If Tenant maintains possession of the Premises for any period after the termination of this Lease ("Holdover Period"), Tenant shall pay to Landlord lease payment(s) during the Holdover Period at a rate equal to
  28. CUMULATIVE RIGHTS. The rights of the parties under this Lease are cumulative, and shall not be construed as exclusive unless otherwise required by law.
  29. REMODELING OR STRUCTURAL IMPROVEMENTS. Tenant shall be allowed to conduct construction or remodeling (at Tenant's expense) only with the prior written consent of the Landlord which shall not be unreasonably withheld. At the end of the lease term, Tenant shall be entitled to remove (or at the request of Landlord shall remove) any such fixtures, and shall restore the Premises to substantially the same condition that existed at the commencement of this Lease.

    Upon prior written consent of Landlord, Tenant may install satellite dishes within the Premises. If allowed, the Satellite Dish must be installed WITHIN the exterior boundaries of the Premises or inside balcony railings or window. The Satellite Dish must be mounted so as to not be visible from the street or in any other way negatively impact the outward appearance of the building.

    The Satellite Dish must be securely and properly mounted in a workman-like manner by a licensed contractor. Installation and maintenance of the Satellite Dish must not damage the Premises or its walls in any way. The Tenant remains strictly liable for any injury or damage to persons or property caused by the satellite dish and Tenant MUST maintain sufficient liability coverage against any such injury or damage. Proof of such insurance MUST BE provided to Landlord, with Landlord listed as an additional insured, prior to approval of installation and upon each renewal of coverage.

  30. ACCESS BY LANDLORD TO PREMISES. Landlord shall have the right to enter the Premises pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1954 and to make inspections, provide necessary services, or show the unit to prospective buyers, mortgagees, tenants or workers. Landlord will provide reasonable notice of its intention to enter the Premises. If Tenant has, after written notice to cease, continued to deny Landlord access to the unit, as required by State law, such failure is a substantial breach of this agreement and is a just cause for eviction. However, Landlord does not assume any liability for the care or supervision of the Premises. As provided by law, in the case of an emergency, Landlord may enter the Premises without Tenant's consent. During the last three months of this Lease, or any extension of this Lease, Landlord shall be allowed to display the usual "To Let" signs and show the Premises to prospective tenants.
  31. INDEMNITY REGARDING USE OF PREMISES. To the extent permitted by law, Tenant agrees to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend Landlord from and against any and all losses, claims, liabilities, and expenses, including reasonable attorney fees, if any, which Landlord may suffer or incur in connection with Tenant's possession, use or misuse of the Premises, except Landlord's act or negligence. Tenant hereby expressly releases Landlord and/or Agent from any and all liability for loss or damage to Tenant's property or effects whether in the Premises, garage, storerooms or any other location in or about the Premises, arising out of any cause whatsoever, including but not limited to rain, plumbing leakage, fire or theft, except in the case that such damage has been adjudged to be the result of the gross negligence of Landlord, Landlord's employees, heirs, successors, assignees and/or Agents.
  32. ACCOMMODATION. Landlord agrees to and is committed to complying with all applicable laws providing equal housing opportunities. To ensure compliance, Landlord will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or a tenant, unless undue hardship would result. It is the applicant or tenant's responsibility to make Landlord aware of any required accommodation. In writing, the individual with the disability should specify the nature and effect of the disability and any accommodation he or she needs. If after thoughtful consideration and evaluation, the accommodation is reasonable and will not impose an undue hardship, Landlord will make the accommodation. Landlord reserves the right to require appropriate medical verification of the disability.
  33. DANGEROUS MATERIALS. Tenant shall not keep or have on the Premises any article or thing of a dangerous, flammable, or explosive character that might substantially increase the danger of fire on the Premises, or that might be considered hazardous by a responsible insurance company, unless the prior written consent of Landlord is obtained and proof of adequate insurance protection is provided by Tenant to Landlord.
  34. ASBESTOS. The Premises may contain asbestos or have original construction materials that contain asbestos.

    Damaging or disturbing the surface of asbestos-containing materials may increase the risk of exposure. Therefore, Tenant and Tenant's guests, contractors or invitees shall not allow any action which may, in any way, disturb asbestos-containing materials or any part of the Premises that may contain asbestos or asbestos-containing materials. Tenant shall notify Landlord immediately if Tenant knows or suspects that an asbestos-containing material has been disturbed or if Tenant becomes aware of any asbestos-containing material that is showing signs of deterioration.

  35. COMPLIANCE WITH REGULATIONS. Tenant shall promptly comply with all laws, ordinances, requirements and regulations of the federal, state, county, municipal and other authorities, and the fire insurance underwriters. However, Tenant shall not by this provision be required to make alterations to the exterior of the building or alterations of a structural nature.
  36. MECHANICS LIENS. Neither Tenant nor anyone claiming through the Tenant shall have the right to file mechanics liens or any other kind of lien on the Premises and the filing of this Lease constitutes notice that such liens are invalid. Further, Tenant agrees to (1) give actual advance notice to any contractors, subcontractors or suppliers of goods, labor, or services that such liens will not be valid, and (2) take whatever additional steps that are necessary in order to keep the Premises free of all liens resulting from construction done by or for the Tenant.
  37. SUBORDINATION OF LEASE. This Lease is subordinate to any mortgage that now exists, or may be given later by Landlord, with respect to the Premises.
  38. ASSIGNABILITY/SUBLETTING. Tenant may not assign or sublease any interest in the Premises, nor assign, mortgage or pledge this Lease. This is a blanket prohibition, meaning no replacement tenant(s) will be permitted and no additional tenant or occupant will be allowed in the Premises even if a Tenant leaves the Premises. This prohibition applies to each and every term of this Lease in regard to space leased to Tenant. Any waiver of this prohibition must be secured from the Landlord in writing, the consent of which Landlord may withhold in its sole and absolute discretion. In the event the prohibition is invalidated or lifted, Tenant, Landlord and any subtenant or assignee agrees to be bound by each and every provision contained in this Lease.
  39. INDIVIDUAL LIABILITY. Each person who signs this agreement, whether or not said person is or remains in possession of the Premises, is jointly and severally responsible for the full performance of each and every obligation of this agreement, including, but not limited to, the payment of all rent due and the payment of costs to remedy damages to the Premises regardless of whether such damages were caused by Tenant, Tenant's Guests or Invitees.
  40. INSPECTION OF PREMISES. Tenant has inspected the Premises, furnishings and equipment including smoke detectors, where applicable, and finds the Premises to be satisfactory and in good working order. All plumbing, heating and electrical systems are operative and deemed satisfactory by Tenant if Landlord is not notified in writing to the contrary within 48 hours of occupancy of the Premises.
  41. NUISANCE. Tenant agrees not to commit, nor permit to be committed, any waste or nuisance, upon in or about the Premises, nor shall Tenant create or permit a substantial interference with the comfort, safety, or enjoyment of Landlord and other occupants of the property or their Agents, guests and/or invitees. Waste, nuisance, and substantial interference are substantial violations of a material term of the tenancy and constitute just cause for eviction.
  42. LEAD DISCLOSURE. Many homes and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead (called lead-based paint). Lead from paint chips and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly. The law requires that tenants and lessees receive certain information before renting pre-1978 housing. By signing this Lease, Tenant represents and agrees that Landlord has provided Tenant with such information, including, but not limited to the EPA Booklet Entitled Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home, Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards.
  43. MOLD/MILDEW. Tenant agrees to maintain the Premises in a manner that prevents the occurrence of, and infestation of mold or mildew in the Premises. Tenant agrees to uphold this responsibility in part by complying with the list of responsibilities in the addendum entitled Mold Notification. By signing this Lease, Tenant represents and agrees that Landlord has provided Tenant with such information, including, but not limited to Mold Notification Addendum and Mold/Mildew Disclosure Form.
  44. NOTICE. Notices under this Lease shall not be deemed valid unless given or served in writing and forwarded by mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the party at the appropriate address set forth below. Such addresses may be changed from time to time by either party by providing notice as set forth below. Notices mailed in accordance with these provisions shall be deemed received on the third day after posting.
  45. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS DISCLOSURE. Pursuant to the regulations of Proposition 65, enacted by the voters of California, Landlord hereby makes the following required disclosure: Warning - The Premises contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
  46. MEGAN'S LAW. The California Department of Justice, sheriff's departments, police departments serving jurisdictions of 200,000 or more and many other local law enforcement authorities maintain for public access a data base of the locations of persons required to register pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 290.4 of the Penal Code.

    Notice: Pursuant to Section 290.46 of the Penal Code, information about specified registered sex offenders is made available to the public via an Internet Web site maintained by the Department of Justice at Depending on an offender's criminal history, this information will include either the address at which the offender resides or the community of residence and ZIP Code in which he or she resides.

  47. GOVERNING LAW. This Lease shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California.
  48. ENTIRE AGREEMENT/AMENDMENT. This Lease contains the entire agreement of the parties and there are no other promises, conditions, understandings or other agreements, whether oral or written, relating to the subject matter of this Lease. This Lease may be modified or amended in writing, if the writing is signed by the party obligated under the amendment.
  49. SEVERABILITY; WAIVER. If any portion of this Lease shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Lease is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited. The failure of either party to enforce any provisions of this Lease shall not be construed as a waiver or limitation of that party's right to subsequently enforce and compel strict compliance with every provision of this Lease.
  50. TIME OF ESSENCE. Time is of the essence with respect to the execution of this Lease.
  51. ESTOPPEL CERTIFICATE. Tenant shall execute and return a tenant estoppel certificate delivered to Tenant by Landlord or Landlord's agent within 3 days after its receipt. Failure to comply with this requirement shall be deemed Tenant's acknowledgment that the estoppel certificate is true and correct, and may be relied upon by a lender or purchaser.
  52. TENANT REPRESENTATION; CREDIT. Tenant represents and warrants that all statements in Tenant's rental application are accurate. Tenant authorizes Landlord and any broker to obtain Tenant's credit report periodically during the tenancy in connection with the modification or enforcement of this Lease. Landlord may cancel this Lease (i) before occupancy begins, (ii) upon disapproval of the credit report(s), or (iii) at any time, upon discovering that information in Tenant's application is false.
  53. BINDING EFFECT. The provisions of this Lease shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of both parties and their respective legal representatives, successors and assigns.
  54. DISPUTE RESOLUTION. The parties will attempt to resolve any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement through friendly negotiations amongst the parties. If the matter is not resolved by negotiation, the parties will resolve the dispute using the below Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Procedure, unless the dispute or controversy meets the requirements to be brought before California's small claims court or is an unlawful detainer proceeding.

    Any controversies or disputes arising out of or relating to this Agreement, other than those excepted above, will be submitted to mediation in accordance with any statutory rules of mediation. If mediation is not successful in resolving the entire dispute or is unavailable, any outstanding issues will be submitted to final and binding arbitration in accordance with the laws of the State of California. The arbitrator's award will be final, and any judgment may be entered upon it by any court having jurisdiction within the State of California.


Penelope Garcia, Garcia Properties, LLC


Alex Smith


Quinn Davis


By Signing above Landlord hereby acknowledges receipt and Tenant acknowledges the payment of the following:
Security Deposit: $2,000.00
Total Collected: $2,000.00

Residential Lease Inspection checklist

Tenant has inspected the Premises and states that the Premises are in satisfactory condition, free of defects, except as noted below:

Satisfactory Comments

















Window coverings



Alex Smith


Quinn Davis

Acknowledged by Landlord:

Penelope Garcia, Garcia Properties, LLC

Alex Smith Date

Quinn Davis Date

Mold Notification Addendum

THIS AGREEMENT made and entered into by and between Garcia Properties, LLC ("Landlord"), and Alex Smith and Quinn Davis ("Tenant").

Tenant agrees to rent the Premises located at 1622 Stevenson Place, Apt. 3, Los Altos, California, 94023.

It is our goal to maintain the highest quality living environment for our Tenants. Therefore, know that the Owner/Agent has inspected the unit prior to lease and knows of no damp or wet building materials and knows of no mold or mildew contamination. Tenant is hereby notified that mold, however, can grow if the Premises are not properly maintained or ventilated. If moisture is allowed to accumulate in the unit, it can cause mildew and mold to grow. It is important that Tenants regularly allow air to circulate in the apartment. It is also important that Tenants keep the interior of the unit clean and that they promptly notify the Owner/Agent of any leaks, moisture problems, and/or mold growth.

Tenant agrees to maintain the Premises in a manner that prevents the occurrence of an infestation of mold or mildew in the Premises. Tenant agrees to uphold this responsibility in part by complying with the following list of responsibilities:

  1. Tenant agrees to keep the unit free of dirt and debris that can harbor mold.
  2. Tenant agrees to immediately report to the Owner/Agent any water intrusion, such as plumbing leaks, drips, or "sweating" pipes.
  3. Tenant agrees to notify owner of overflows from bathroom, kitchen, or unit laundry facilities, especially in cases where the overflow may have permeated walls or cabinets.
  4. Tenant agrees to report to the Owner/Agent any significant mold growth on surfaces inside the Premises.
  5. Tenant agrees to allow the Owner/Agent to enter the unit to inspect and make necessary repairs.
  6. Tenant agrees to properly ventilate the bathroom while showering or bathing and to report to the Owner/Agent any non-working fan.
  7. Tenant agrees to use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, or cleaning.
  8. Tenant agrees to use all reasonable care to prevent outdoor water from penetrating into the interior of the unit.
  9. Tenant agrees to clean and dry any visible moisture on windows, walls, and other surfaces, including personal property, as soon as reasonably possible. (Note: Mold can grow on damp surfaces within 24 to 48 hours.)
  10. Tenant agrees to notify the Owner/ Agent of any problems with any air conditioning or heating systems that are discovered by the Tenant.
  11. Tenant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Owner/Agent from any actions, claims, losses, damages, and expenses, including, but not limited to, attorneys' fees that the Owner/Agent may sustain or incur as a result of the negligence of the Tenant or any guest or other person living in, occupying, or using the Premises.


Alex Smith


Quinn Davis

Acknowledged by Landlord:

Penelope Garcia, Garcia Properties, LLC

While our standard Lease Agreement template is suitable for most housing rentals, here are few more examples of the specific types of residential lease agreements that you can make:

Other types of landlord documents are also available.

What information is included in a Lease Agreement?

A Residential Lease Agreement should outline every aspect of the rental arrangement that you want your tenants to agree to, and it should clearly outline your responsibilities and expectations as the landlord or property manager.

The following landlord-tenant topics are typically covered in a Rental Agreement:

Lease term details
  • How long will the lease last?
  • What will happen when the lease term ends?
  • Will the lease be renewable?
  • What happens if the tenant needs to break the rental agreement?
  • Are roommates allowed?
  • Is subletting allowed?
  • What rent will be charged?
  • How much is the security deposit?
  • When is rent due and when is it considered late?
  • How can rent payments be made and what are the accepted forms of payment?
  • What happens if the rent is late or a check bounces?
  • Who pays for utilities?
House rules
  • What are the tenant's maintenance responsibilities?
  • How long can guests stay?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is smoking permitted?
Other topics
  • Is there parking or storage available?
  • Who is responsible for property damage?
  • What is the process for requesting maintenance?

Getting everyone on the same page at the beginning of a landlord-tenant relationship can help prevent issues in the future. Always be sure to provide a copy of the signed Rental Agreement form to each tenant, so they can refer to it instead of calling you with time-consuming questions. The signed rental contract can also serve as a reminder of agreements that the tenant made, if there ever comes a time when you need to enforce it.

Rocket Lawyer Landlord
Michelle J. | Landlord
Rocket Lawyer Member since 2013

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How to make a Lease Agreement with Rocket Lawyer

Making a free Lease Agreement online is simple. Just answer a few questions, and we'll build your document for you. The whole process can take less than 10 minutes.

How to write a Rental Agreement How to write a Rental AgreementHow to write a Rental Agreement How to write a Rental Agreement

Rocket Lawyer's document builder will guide you through making your customized Rental Lease Agreement. Once you choose your state and start your document, we will automatically generate the legal language required for your Rental Agreement based on how you answer the interview questions. If you don't have all of the information that you need, you can skip questions, and save your document for later.

You can access your Lease Agreement anytime, anywhere, on any device. As a Rocket Lawyer Premium member, you can copy your rental contract, edit it, or send it out to your tenants for an online signature. You can also download it in PDF or Word format and print it anytime.

What should I know before making a Lease Agreement?

You do not need to know how to write a Rental Agreement yourself to use Rocket Lawyer's templates, however you may find it helpful to gather all of the information you need beforehand.

To make a Rental Lease Agreement, you'll need to have the following details available:

General property details

Every Lease Agreement form should include the address of the property, as well as the name of the landlord or property manager. You can also describe the property or attach a floor plan or schematic to your contract.

Property maintenance and utilities details

You can choose if the tenant should have any maintenance responsibilities, or if you would like to care of maintenance requests yourself.

Security deposit details

You'll want to include how much the security deposit is and how it will be returned after the tenant moves out. In some states, you may need the bank and account information of where the security deposit will be held.

Tenant and guest information

You'll need the full names of every person living in the unit. In terms of guests, you can limit how long they may stay and where they may park vehicles, if applicable.

Rent payment schedule

With our free Rental Agreement template, you simply select when the rent is due and the number of grace period days. You can also outline how much the late fees are and when they are due.

Auto-renewal clause

What happens when the contract ends? In many instances, landlords opt for auto-renewal. That means that the terms remain the same, and the tenant pays on a month-to-month basis. Or, you can opt to make a new Rental Agreement form with altered terms and require the tenants to agree to the new terms if they want to continue as renters.

Pet provisions

As a landlord you have the right to decide whether a tenant can bring in a pet. Keep in mind that state laws vary, so it may or may not be legal to restrict certain breeds, and you may not be able to charge an additional pet deposit or cleaning fee. Some landlords, however, may require monthly pet rent. Note that service or companion animals are not classified as pets and their owners are protected from discrimination by federal law. If you have questions about allowing animals on your property, ask a lawyer.


While most apartments only include appliances or perhaps window coverings, your property may be different. Note which furnishings you provide in your lease, so all property can be accounted for when the tenant moves out.


If your tenant will have a parking space in your apartment complex or home's driveway, make sure to include the description of the space in your Lease Agreement.


You have the option of allowing or disallowing subletting of your property. Many property managers do not allow tenants to rent (all or part of) their home or apartment to someone they don't have a rental agreement with, so you may want to consider prohibiting subletting. Or, you may include provisions for adding new or additional tenants to a lease upon your approval.

Other provisions

There are other options and provisions available in our free printable Lease Agreement form—such as the number of keys provided, whether there is storage space, and how to go about terminating the lease—so you can rest assured that your Rental Agreement will help to spell out all of the important details for you and your tenant.

Legal and reliable

Our free Rental Agreement template has been vetted by lawyers and legal staff, so you can use it with confidence.

Rental Agreement Template

Lease Agreement addendums and disclosures

In addition to the usual legal terms, Rocket Lawyer's standard Lease Agreement form also comes with a Move-In Inspection Checklist. Using this document, your tenant can record the condition of the rental unit before they move in. The worksheet can be referenced when the tenant moves out to ensure that the property is returned to you in good condition with normal wear and tear.

Depending on your state, your Rental Agreement may need to contain other addendums, notifications, and disclosures that are required by law or available to protect both landlord and tenant, including:

Mold notification

Requires tenants to notify the landlord about water damage and potential mold issues ASAP. Landlords may also be required to notify tenants of existing mold that exceeds state limits.

Asbestos addendum

If the building was built before 1981, this addendum tells the residents how best to avoid disturbing surfaces that may contain asbestos.

Information about bed bugs

Tells tenants how to handle bed bug infestations.

Pest control disclosure

Describes pests required to be controlled and information about pest control methods.

Lead paint disclosure

If the building was built before 1978, this disclosure describes potential lead hazards.

Radon hazards notification

Notifies tenants that radon may be present on the property.

Past housing code violations

A list reporting past housing code violations.

Flood zone disclosure

Information about the property being in a flood zone.

Criminal activity disclosure

Notifies the renters if any illegal activity has occurred on the property.

Megan's Law notification

Release of sex offender information.

Domestic violence

Policy for changing locks or allowing early termination of the rental agreement in the event of domestic violence.

Laws for disclosure can vary by state and locality, so it is important to seek legal advice from a local attorney if you have questions about what you are legally obligated to include within or alongside your Residential Lease Agreement form.

Lead Paint Disclosure
If your property was built before 1978, you may be required to provide a lead paint disclosure to your tenants. If you're unsure, ask a lawyer. Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University

What should I do after making a Lease Agreement?

Once your Rental Agreement is made, here are a few more things you should consider doing:

Make It Legal

Each completed Residential Lease Agreement form comes with a Make It Legal checklist of actions you need to take to finalize your document. This can include anything from getting it signed by both parties to making sure that all of the appropriate addendums and notifications are attached.

Sign online

Easily sign and send your Rental Agreement out to tenants for an online signature. Or, if you prefer, print out a hard copy and re-upload the signed version later. (Note that electronic signatures are not currently supported on Florida lease agreements. If you are renting property in Florida, you can download and print a signable copy of your rental contract.)

Ask a lawyer

If you have any doubts or concerns about local housing laws, ask a lawyer about your Lease Agreement, and a Rocket Lawyer On Call® attorney will reply to your question with a personal response. Most questions are answered within 4 business hours. As a Premium member, you also have access to Document Defense®, document review, and a free 30 minute consultation on each new legal matter. Premium members who need more help can save up to 40% on legal fees when hiring an attorney from our network.

Make more property management documents

Access dozens more legal documents made for landlords, including a Tenant Welcome Letter, a Co-signer Agreement, a Security Deposit Receipt, and an Eviction Notice—just in case you ever need one. As a Premium member, you can make unlimited copies and revisions of any business document, or handle family affairs with personal documents like a Last Will and Testament and Living Will.

Incorporate your rental business

If you have not already formed a legal business entity, Rocket Lawyer is here for you. Incorporating can help you separate your business assets from your personal assets and help to protect your personal finances in the event of a lawsuit or bankruptcy. Learn more about the benefits of incorporation and make your business official today.

Stay protected with Document Defense®

Sometimes things don't go as planned. Document Defense® will be there if a dispute arises with your Rocket Lawyer Lease Agreement.

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Common Questions about Lease Agreements

Landlord lease questions

What are landlords legally responsible for?

As a landlord, you are responsible for taking care of repairs to ensure that a property is habitable. You must also hold up your end of the rental agreement which may include paying for certain utilities or providing lawn care services.

Can I limit the number of tenants?

You can, if you comply with local housing laws. The general guideline is two people per bedroom plus one. Using this guideline, the limit would be five tenants for a two-bedroom apartment.

What is rent control and does it apply to me?

Rent control limits the maximum that landlords can charge for rent, and also sets a limit for annual increases. This kind of rental is rare and generally only found in certain cities and localities in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington DC. If your property is subject to rent control, it is important that you talk to a lawyer to understand your rights and obligations as a landlord.

How much security deposit can I charge?

How much you can charge depends on the state the rental property is in. Many states limit the amount of the deposit to one to two times the amount of the rent. Local laws may apply, as well. If you are unsure about the laws in your area, ask a lawyer.

What can I deduct from a security deposit?

For the most part, you cannot deduct expenses for regular wear-and-tear, such as fading paint, rug wear, or dirty blinds. You can deduct for damage or hygiene issues considered outside of normal use, such as building damage or excessive filth.

Can I raise the rent before a lease expires?

In most cases, you need to wait until the lease expires to change the rent amount. If you do plan to raise the rent, you should give 30- or 60-days notice, so the current renter can decide if they want to sign a new lease for the increased amount or move. Local laws may apply to the amount of notice required.

What if I don't want to renew a lease with a tenant?

If you do not intend to renew a lease with a tenant, you should notify them in advance that the lease is about to expire and that you do not intend to renew the lease. In most states, you'll need to provide a 30- or 60-day notice.

Are verbal rental agreements legal?

In many cases, yes, as long as you can easily prove that there is a landlord-tenant arrangement. The terms of the agreement, however, may be difficult to prove in court. For this reason, it is important to get your terms documented and properly executed with signatures from both parties (especially if it is expected to be a long-term arrangement).

Should I allow subleasing?

Subleasing can be beneficial for landlords in some cases and may decrease vacancy times. If a tenant asks to sublet, they may be having financial issues or maybe they simply need to relocate. Either way, subletting may be a good option to keep the unit filled, as long as you properly screen the sub-tenant and document the arrangement with a Sublease Agreement.

Do I have to allow medical marijuana smoking in my rentals?

Currently, you can treat marijuana smoking the same as cigarette smoking and not allow it in your properties, if you choose.

What actions should I take if my tenant violates our Lease Agreement?

If a tenant violates the lease by not paying rent or not complying with other terms, such as moving in a pet, you can send them a formal notice. Many landlords start by sending an Eviction Notice or a Late Rent Notice, if applicable. The notice will tell the renter how they violated the lease and what may happen if they do not comply to the terms of the lease within a certain amount of time.

How can I learn about local housing laws?

Consulting with a local lawyer is a good first step. An attorney can review your rental documents and provide guidance on how to abide by the laws that apply to your situation. You may also learn about local housing laws and best practices from local housing authorities, state law websites, or good landlord programs.

Tenant lease questions

What if I can't pay the entire security deposit?

If you cannot afford to pay the entire deposit, you should ask the landlord if you can make a payment arrangement. Make sure to stick to your payment schedule or you could face an eviction.

What do I do if my lease is about to expire?

If your lease doesn't automatically convert to a month-to-month agreement and you want to renew, reach out to your landlord to let them know your intention to stay. If you do not want to renew your lease, you should give your landlord at least 30-days notice. Be sure to check your lease to see if you've agreed to a longer notice period. If you are not sure when you will be moving, you may be able to start a month-to-month tenancy.

How do I get my security deposit back?

Most states have laws about how long it will take to get your security deposit back and that information may be included in your original rental lease. Make sure the landlord has your new mailing address, so they can mail you the check. If the unit is not returned in the same condition it was received, you might expect to have some expenses deducted from your deposit.

Do landlords have to allow my service animal?

In most cases, landlords do need to accommodate service animals. They may ask for a letter from your medical or mental health provider stating that you have a medical/mental health need for animal support. You can obtain the letter without violating privacy laws.

How do I get out of a Lease Agreement?

You may be able to easily get out of your rental contract, if your Lease Agreement allows it. If not, you'll first want to talk to your landlord. You may be allowed to find someone to sublet your rental to finish the term of the lease for you. If you absolutely cannot get out of the rental agreement, but you must move, ask if you can make payments to pay off what is left after forfeiting your deposit. In some cases, you may be protected from the consequences of breaking a lease, such as if you are in the active military and are deployed. If you move, and the landlord will not let you out of the lease, you may be sued for the remaining balance.

Questions about Rocket Lawyer Lease Agreements

Can Rocket Lawyer make a Residential Lease Agreement for any state?

Yes, our document builder can make Leases suitable for any state. When you start the document creation process, simply select the state that the rental property is located in.

Is an electronically signed lease legally valid?

While not all documents are legal with electronic signatures, most Residential Lease Agreements are. Using Rocket Lawyer, you can email the Lease form to your prospective tenant and they can sign it using our online signing service.

Can I make Rental Applications, too?

Yes, we provide a Rental Application template as well as other types of legal documents for landlords.

Can I get a lawyer to review my basic Lease Agreement?

Yes, you can use your Rocket Lawyer membership to obtain document review services from On Call attorneys who are experts in local housing laws.

How do I revise my Lease Agreement document?

You just need to sign in to your Rocket Lawyer account, select the document you want to edit, and then select 'edit.' If you need to save the original version as is, select 'copy' first, and then edit the copied version.

Rental Agreement Legal Advice
Dinesh Singhal, Esq.
Rocket Lawyer On Call® Attorney

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