Apartment Lease Agreement

apartment lease agreement
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Many people in the United States and worldwide faced the necessity to lease an apartment as tenants at least once in their lives. If you own an apartment you want to rent, or you are a potential tenant who is searching for a perfect place to live, you might be aware of the apartment lease agreement.

This is a contract between a landlord (or owner) and tenant (or renter) that sets the term and rules of the lease. If an owner transfers an apartment, there can be multiple renters, but all of them should read the contract and sign it.

Briefly, every such agreement contains:

  • The apartment’s address
  • The lessee’s and lessor’s names
  • Price of rent and sum for a security deposit
  • Lease terms

An owner and a renter have to decide when a renter may move in and when they have to move out. If needed, the contract may be prolonged.

  • Lease conditions

All rules should be set by an owner in advance since it is their apartment and they are concerned about it. Here, people include various provisions regarding the payment due date, rules for tenants, penalties for contract breaching, and other information.

  • The signing date and parties’ signatures

All parties have to sign the contract and put the date of signing when the template is finished.

Below, you will see the structure in detail; we also have included the tips about the agreements, so you know what to add to yours.

Why Should I Sign This Agreement?

The document is essential for both a renter and an owner. It can protect both parties on occasion.

If you are an owner, the agreement will help you in court if your tenant violates the rules, postpones the payment, does something unlawful in your apartment, and so on. You can use the agreement in court if such a situation occurs. Also, with the agreement, you list what penalties will be applied to the renter if they breach the conditions.

For a renter, it is vital to have a signed agreement because one day, an owner may come over and try to kick you out for no reason (or for a reason but with no opportunity for you to stay until you find a new place).

Overall, such an agreement is a civilized way to regulate renters’ and owners’ relationships and protect their interests if needed. We strongly recommend using this legal instrument for everyone who plans to rent an apartment.

How to Fill Out the Form

Some people get brain freeze when they need to fill out various legal templates. However, creating an apartment lease agreement is much easier than many owners and renters may think. Use our comprehensive guidelines below to find out how to complete the template correctly and easily.

  • Get the Template

You have to find the correct apartment lease agreement template to fill it out. We suggest our advanced form-building software to download the file as quickly as possible.

  • Date the Contract

The template begins with the date when it is signed. Add the current date to the first blank line.

step 2 date the contract - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Introduce the Parties

Next, you have to add the renter’s and owner’s names. Usually, in lease contracts, the parties are referred to as “lessor” (or “landlord,” the one who transfers the premises) and “lessee” (the one who stays at the rented premises or a tenant).

Sometimes the apartment is given to a group of lessees. In this case, all names should be included in the contract from the start.

step 3 introduce the parties - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Indicate the Property’s Address

You have to state where the property is located. Write the detailed address, including state, county, postal code, and city. Besides, specify what exactly is rented (the apartment with a certain number of rooms). Remember to include additional items (if you pass not only the apartment itself but other premises like a garage or a parking spot).

step 4 indicate the property’s address - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Grant Permission to Stay

If you are the owner, you may name people that are allowed to stay in your apartment (tenants’ relatives or partners). List the potential occupants’ names.

step 5 grant permission to stay - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • State the Lease Period

Each such contract normally has a certain term: for instance, people rent places for a year. Define for how long your tenants will stay on the premises according to this contract. If everything goes well, you can re-sign the document after the period stated in the contract terminates.

step 6 state the lease period - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Determine the Security Deposit

It is a good practice to collect a security deposit of a certain amount in US dollars to protect your apartment. After the contract ends, you will give the deposit back. The sum varies and normally does not exceed the rent per month. Every American state has its own regulations prescribing how much you can take from tenants.

step 7 determine the security deposit - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Schedule the Payments

Every owner expects to receive payments from their renter in time and on a certain day each month. After you have defined the security deposit, insert the due date for your tenant(s) to pay the rent.

Apart from the sum to pay, choose the payment method (cash, bank transfer, or another method that is more convenient for you as a money recipient).

step 8 schedule the payments - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Define the Penalties for Contract Violation

If your tenant(s) breach the agreement’s conditions, you have the full right to penalize them. However, the renter(s) should be warned about the consequences of their misbehavior.

Write all the rules about late payments, illegal actions on the premises, guests, noisy parties, and so on. Depending upon the violation type, you may either ask your renter(s) to move out or to compensate anyhow (in this case, the contract may stay effective if you reach a mutual understanding). Bear in mind that the penalties you select for breaking the rules should conform to the state laws (where you sign the contract, and the premises are).

  • Choose the Notices’ Delivery Method

Both parties have to choose how they want to receive notices (in person, by mail, or any other way). Include this condition in the contract.

  • Decide Who Will Cover Utility Bills

Some landlords ask their lessees to cover the bills for water, gas, Wi-Fi, electricity, garbage picking, and so on; others cover the bills by themselves and exclude these costs from the rent. You may also split the costs by category (you as an owner cover one thing, and your tenant pays for another). Mark who will pay for what by putting ticks in suitable blank boxes.

step 11 decide who will cover utility bills - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Define the Terms for Certain Notifications

If you or your tenant decide to cancel the agreement for reasons that do not relate to contract violation (you need to sell the place, or the tenant needs to move to another area or other reasons), such notifications should be sent within a certain period.

Typically, both of you should have at least 30 days to prepare, so the notice can be delivered no later than 30 days before the lease ends. Include this provision in your contract.

  • Identify Parties’ Obligations

Then, list the obligations of both owner and renter. In templates, you have examples of these obligations, so you can leave them “as is” or make suitable corrections.

  • Include Other Provisions

Many lease agreements’ samples suggest a bunch of topics for additional provisions:

  • Prohibition of sublease without the owner’s consent
  • Condition of the rented premises
  • Ban to use the premises illegally
  • Destruction of the apartment

And other vital rules to include. It is better to add all of them to your agreement. However, you can omit some if they do not make sense for you.

  • Prepare the Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (If Applicable)

If your apartment was built before 1978, it is necessary to provide your renter with such disclosure to notify about possible traces of lead in the premises. This document is compulsory in almost every American state. In the past century, this metal was often used to build houses; however, later, scientists discovered that it might be hazardous for people.

step 15 prepare the lead-based paint disclosure (if applicable) - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Write Additional Provisions

Before blank lines for parties’ signatures, you will have a section with blank lines for additional provisions. If you have any, place them there.

step 16 write additional provisions - filling out an apartment lease agreement

  • Sign the Agreement

All parties have to sign the form, write their names, and date the contract again. The premises’ owner signs first; then, all renters should add their signatures. Your agreement should be signed by all concerned parties to become valid.

step 17 sign the agreement - filling out an apartment lease agreement