A Guide to Lease Agreement Forms

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A Guide to Lease Agreement Forms

Staff Writer · Jul 2, 2009

Lease agreement forms spell out what is expected from each party when you rent a house or an apartment from a person or a business.

Pay Close Attention to Payment Terms

Lease agreement forms will specify exact points within the agreement such as:

  • The amount of rent expected
  • When the rent is due
  • Where to pay the rent
  • What forms of payments are accepted

Most lease agreement forms will also define who is to pay the water bill, where and when to put out the trash and other things like that.

Verify the Lease Length

Additionally, most lease agreement forms will be for a pre-set period of time with most being for one year, while others can be for 2 or more years at a time. The are some cases in which a landlord will offer a shorter lease period for those in the military, corporate officers and others, or at the very least for people in those types of situations there will be an escape clause in case they are transferred to another location for one reason or another, and for military personnel there should be a special entry in case of deployment.

Understand the All Sections and Beware of Blank Spaces

You should never sign any lease agreement forms without first fully understanding the contents of the lease, and you should never, under any circumstances, sign any agreement that has blank lines in it. If there does happen to be a blank line, refuse to sign until it has been stricken from the lease or you could possibly find yourself in a bad situation in short order (if something isn’t later written inserted into the blank space). Don’t be afraid to let the landlord know that you must have an attorney look over the lease if there is any part of it that you don’t understand.

Now, lease agreement forms create a business relationship between you and your landlord that is called a tenancy. It essentially gives you the right to the possession of the premises in question for a specific period of time, without interference-except in the case that you would do something to breach the contract, such as not paying the rent or violating some other clause within the lease.

Violating Agreed Lease Terms Can Result in Eviction

If the terms of a lease agreement are violated, then the landlord has the right to regain possession of the property in question, but there is a legal process that must be followed before he or she can regain possession of the property. That procedure is called an eviction and must go through the proper courts before the landlord is able to proceed to move you out of the premises.

Knowledge of Lease Terms Protects You From Violations

On the other hand, the lease will protect you from certain acts committed by the landlord as well, and you can hold the landlord equally as responsible for breaching the agreement as he does you. His responsibilities include things such as making sure the property is in good repair, taking care of the furnace and central air if it is installed among other things. Failure to hold up his end of the agreement puts him in breach of the lease agreement.

Lease agreement forms are pretty standard in each jurisdiction, but the laws of each jurisdiction will vary and so some leases may be worded differently in one state, than they are another.

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