the Month - July, 2022
Residential Lease Basics
Source: Real Estate Management by Joseph DeCarlo
Once the property owner has
selected a tenant, the parties will need to enter into a lease
or rental agreement. The lease is a formal contract that
sets out the terms and conditions of the tenancy and the
rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant.
The lease is a contract that governs the landlord-tenant
relationship. It transfers possession, use and enjoyment
of the property from the landlord to the tenant for a specific
period of time and for a stated monetary amount (rent).
The agreement also lists the various rights and
responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord, such as a
payment of rent, payment of utilities, use and up keep of the
premises, subletting, security deposits, and other issues
relating to the rental unit.
The agreement should be in writing. Most jurisdictions
have a adopted a legal doctrine called the Statue of Frauds;
this doctrine states that contracts that cannot be performed
within one year must be in writing in order to be
enforceable. To comply with the Stature of Frauds,
leases of one year or more must be in writing.
(As a practical matter, all leases, no matter what the
duration, should be in writing, since the written document
provides a record of the terms of the landlord-tenant
The agreement should be signed and dated. Both the landlord
(or rental agent) and the tenant should sign and date the
A copy of the agreement should be given to the tenant.
The tenant should be provided with a copy of the signed lease
for future reference.
This web page was updated 7/1/2022.