A Lease Agreement is a useful tool whether you’re a tenant or a landlord or you’re leasing a residential property. By creating a free printable Lease Agreement at the very beginning of your landlord-tenant relationship, you can minimize the likelihood of misunderstandings about the lease arrangement, and you’ll have a written record to fall back on if either party has any questions. Our Lease Agreement includes standard lease provisions, like:
We also give you the option of attaching legal descriptions or sketches of the property. It may seem like a lot of information, but don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the process so you can tailor the lease to your exact situation. Generally, a landlord or property manager will prepare a lease agreement, then have a new tenant sign the lease. But what exactly goes in a typical rental agreement? Who is responsible for what?
Responsibilities under a Lease Agreement:
Under state laws, the landlord and tenant will have some set responsibilities, no matter what’s the lease. The landlord, for example, will usually have to take care of repairs to ensure a property is habitable, while the tenant will be required to pay rent and handle some (if not all) of the utilities.
But since every home or apartment is different, a generic lease agreement probably won’t suit your needs. That’s why our step-by-step document interview gives you a whole host of options when creating your free lease agreement. Learn more about landlord and tenant responsibilities here.
Information you’ll need to complete your Lease Agreement:
Before you get started on your rental lease interview, it’s a good idea to gather the information you’ll need. Here are some of the important details and provisions to keep in mind.
General property information: Every lease agreement form should have the address of the property, as well as the names of the tenants and landlord. You can also describe the property or attach a floor plan or schematic to your contract.
Maintenance information: Some landlords choose to take care of maintenance requests themselves, while others have building supervisors or a trusted contractor. In our lease agreement interview, you can note who to contact for maintenance, as well as including their phone number, email, and/or mailing address. In most states, it’s required that a landlord pays for wear-and-tear and repairs not caused by tenant neglect or destruction.
Security deposit : It’s common practice to ask for a fixed sum when your tenant is moving in, in case they refuse to pay rent or destroy the property in some way, shape, or form. This is commonly referred to as a “security deposit.” Most often, this sum is collected before the tenant moves in and usually amounts to one or two month’s rent. You will need to return this amount when your tenant moves out, so long as there’s no damage to your property.
Tenant and Guest Information: You’re renting out a room or an apartment, not a flop house. That’s why including a maximum amount of tenants is important. Generally, this translates to one (or at most two) tenants per bedroom. You can also set expectations about guests, namely how long they can stay in the property.
Payment schedule: Landlords commonly choose to collect rent on a monthly basis, though there are exceptions to every rule. With our rental contract, you can select when your tenant will have to pay, as well as what the late fee and grace period are.
Furnishings: While most apartments comes unfurnished, your property may be different. Note which furnishings you provide in your lease so that you have a record. This way, the tenant knows what’s waiting for them and, when it comes time for them to leave, there won’t be any arguments over who bought the couch.
Auto-renewal clause: Typically, most rental agreement forms last a year. But what happens when the lease ends? In many instances, landlords opt for autorenewal. That means that the lease remains the same, and that tenant pays on a month-to-month basis.
Pet provisions: It’s your property, so you have the right to decide whether a tenant can bring in a pet. This is the most common negotiation point in most leases, as many tenants have cats and dogs and wouldn’t consider adoption for their long-time companion. Often times, landlords will allow for pets to live in their property, but they’ll require an additional security deposit or bump the rent up to accommodate for the pet. You have all of these options in our customizable lease agreement.
Subletting provisions: You have the option of allowing or disallowing subletting in your property. Many landlords feel uncomfortable with tenants re-renting their home or apartment to someone they didn’t interview, so if you’re one of these, consider disallowing subletting.
Parking provisions: A parking space in a crowded urban area can really make your property more desirable. If your tenant will have a place for his or her car in your apartment complex or home’s driveway, make sure to spell it out in your rental lease agreement.
There are other options and provisions in our free printable lease agreement form---such as the amount of keys provided, whether there is storage space, and how to go about terminating the lease---so you can rest assured that your lease agreement will be right for you and your tenant. Keep in mind that you can change your lease agreement with a lease agreement amendment if, for example, your tenant decides to adopt a kitten and you didn’t have a pet provision in your original lease.
This lease agreement form should suit the needs of most landlords, but we also offer more specialized forms: