Standard Lease Provisions
When you rent an apartment or house, you will almost always sign a lease agreement. The lease is a legally binding contract between tenant and landlord, which includes specific responsibilities of the parties involved (which may include subtenants). While leases vary from one landlord to another, certain provisions are standard in nearly all lease agreements.
This article provides a snapshot of standard lease provisions, in addition to some lease provisions that are unenforceable. See FindLaw's Rental and Lease Agreements section for additional articles and resources.
Common Lease Provisions
Standard lease provisions which set forth landlord and tenant rights and obligations include the following:
- The names of the parties
- A description of the rental property
- The term, or length, of the lease
- The amount of rent
- The due date of the rent
- The amount of the security deposit
- Whether the tenant is subject to late fees
- Maintenance responsibilities
- Options to renew
- Termination notice requirements
- When the landlord may enter the rental property
- Rules concerning pets
While leases or rental agreements do not have to be in writing to be valid, the terms of the agreement will be easier to enforce and the responsibilities of the parties will be clearer if the rental agreement is in writing.
Unenforceable Lease Clauses
Some clauses that appear in a written lease or rental agreement are, by the nature of the clause, unenforceable. These include:
- Agreements that the landlord can repossess property if the tenant falls behind in the rent
- Agreements allowing the landlord to enter the rental unit any time (without notice)
- Agreements that tenants will pay for all damages to the rental unit without regard to fault
- Agreements that court action entitles the landlord to more money than can be order by the court
Consider speaking with a real estate attorney specializing in landlord tenant law if you have additional questions or require representation.