Lease Agreement Forms: Is Your Rental Lease Agreement Airtight?

by Allan Cole - Date: 2010-08-15 - Word Count: 537 Share This!

Lease agreement forms are the heart and soul of every tenancy - They decide the rules of your lease and they are often the last line of defense if something goes haywire. Whether you are relying on a free lease agreement form or turning to a lawyer to draw one up, let's make sure you have these two most important details nailed down:

Do You Want a Periodic Lease or a Fixed Term Lease?

Choosing between a periodic (month to month, year to year) and fixed term lease seems like a straightforward enough issue but it's often not. Your lease type has a wide-ranging impact on how you can end the lease, when the rent can be raised and even how often the rent is collected.

Looking for a free and easy tenancy? Then chances are a month to month lease will appeal to you. It's easier to end - All you need is to inform the other party in writing 30 to 60 days beforehand. The rent is more bendable and elastic (good news for a landlord) - You can raise the rent just by dishing out a rent increase notice 30 to 60 days in advance. It's little wonder this kind of rental lease agreement is favored by landlords and tenants who are looking for a flexible rental arrangement.

Perhaps you are the committed kind and prefer a stable, long term relationship? Then tick "fixed term lease" in your lease agreement form. In a fixed term lease, both the lease duration and the rent amount are locked (unless there's a loophole clause in your lease agreement that allows the landlord to review the rent). Since most fixed term leases last for at least 6 months, it makes them more popular with commercial leases and long-term residential renting.

Security Deposits - How Much and How it is Handled?

Security deposits are the one thing that has been the spark of so many landlord-tenant feuds - yet most of them could have been well-avoided with a dependable rental lease agreement.

So how much security deposit can a landlord ask for? The exact answers can be unearthed from your local security deposit laws. In general, there's no maximum deposit limits for commercial leases while residential leases may be slapped with a 1 to 3 month limit.

Your free lease agreement should also be crystal clear on finer points of how the security deposit is handled: Is the security deposit fully refundable after the lease? If deposit deductions are made midway during the rental period, does the tenant have to top it up to the full amount again? What happens if the security deposit is not enough to cover the repair bills or unpaid rent? Can the deposit be used to pay off the last month's rent? - Your rental agreement should contain direct answers to all these questions.

As you are tweaking the rules of your lease agreement form, keep one thing in mind: You are free to negotiate your own terms and conditions, but it has to fall within the confines of your local landlord-tenant laws. Even the other party agrees, any lease terms that violate the landlord tenant laws will be struck off as invalid. In cases of serious violations, the whole lease agreement form may end up as waste paper.

Related Tags: free, lease agreement forms, lease agreement form, rental lease agreement

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