Lease Agreement Form

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A Lease, also known as a rental agreement,  is a legal contract between a “landlord” or “lessor”, who owns property or real estate, and a tenant or lessee, who is paying rent in order to use or occupy the property or real estate. Prior to preparing and signing a rental agreement, it is common for a prospective tenant to complete a rental application.

Popular Lease Agreement Templates

  • Commercial Lease Agreement: A commercial lease form is utilized when renting commercial property. As opposed to residential property, commercial property refers to buildings such as high-rise offices or local small business dwellings. 

  • Month to Month Lease AgreementA month to month lease form is used in situations where the landlord and tenant agree to provide each party with a more flexible contract situation than a usual 12-month lease. With a month to month lease form, tenants and landlords both have the option each month to renew or cancel the agreement, which is beneficial for tenants if you plan on moving within a short period of time. It is beneficial for landlords because they can adjust the rental price based on more up-to-date market conditions, regulations permitting. 

  • Roommate AgreementMost common during college years, a roommate agreement is a contract between roommates itemizing the particular accommodations of the roommate relationship. The agreement could include how much each party must pay for rent each month and for common utilities. 

  • Residential Lease AgreementThe opposite of a commercial lease, a residential lease form is for renting a piece of property where you intend to live. A residential lease agreement can be used for a house or apartment lease agreement. 

  • Sublease Agreement:  A sublet agreement, as it is commonly referred to, is when a renter rents out a portion, or all, of their residential or commercial property for a specific duration of time to another renter. It is vital you check with your landlord and read the local laws to know if a sublease agreement is permissible for your dwelling. 

  • Lease Cancellation AgreementThis document is used when you need to cancel your lease contract before the agreed-upon end date, with which you state your case as to why you should be allowed out of your contract without penalty. As always, local laws and your landlord's response will determine the result of a lease cancellation agreement. 

The Seven Steps of the Leasing Process

Leasing a house, apartment, or condo involves entering into a legally binding relationship. Because the process is legally binding, we’ve created the 7 steps of the leasing process to help you get through the process.

Step 1 - Visiting the Premises

Before a lease agreement is created and signed, you, as the tenant, should visit the premises you’re interested in. This will help you decide whether the space is right for you. Toward the end of your visit, you would decide whether to make an offer on the space. If the leasing agent or landlord is with you, you can make the offer verbally. If you’re viewing the space on your own, you can call the agent or landlord, email them, or send them a text. This helps confirm your interest to the other party.

Step 2 - Complete the Rental Application

As a potential tenant, you’ll likely be asked to complete a rental application. Most landlords also require an application fee. The money from the fee is often used to complete a background check. Read the application carefully and follow its instructions.

Step 3 - Background Check

Most landlords run a background check on potential tenants. They do this because they want to ensure that they are renting to someone who can afford to pay the rent and utilities for the property. If you’re a landlord, you can use verticalrent.com to complete a limited background check on potential tenants for free. For a more thorough background check, you can use mysmartmove.com and pay $25 per background check requested.

Step 4 - References Are Verified

Part of the rental application process is to get a list of references from the potential tenant. The landlord will call the references to learn a little bit more about the potential tenant. Acceptable references include past or current employers, previous landlords, or anyone that isn’t a relative.

Step 5 - The Lease Is Drafted

If the landlord is pleased with the application, background check, and references, a lease agreement will be drafted. Both the tenant and the landlord or leasing agent should meet to make sure that everyone understands the terms of the lease. At the very minimum, the lease should include fees related to pets, parking, trash, and late fee; the monthly rent amount; the date that the tenants will move into the property; the amount paid as a security deposit; the length of the lease; and the utilities that each party is responsible to pay.

Step 6 - Signing the Lease

The lease is not legally binding until it is signed and dated by both the landlord and the tenant(s). This is usually done on the day that the tenant pays the security deposit, pro-rated rent if they are moving in early, and the rent amount for the first month. The landlord or leasing agent will provide the key to the premises. Both parties should maintain a copy of the signed lease agreement for their records.

Step 7 - Moving In

When it is time to move in to the premises, make sure that you walk through the property and note any existing damage. You can use a move-in checklist for this. In fact, many states require the landlord to provide tenants with a checklist for this very reason. You can also create a list of repairs that need to be made. The landlord should sign this document and copies for each party should be made. Performing this inspection is important because it helps protect the tenant from being held financially responsible for existing damage.

Important Lease Agreement Terms & Phrases 

Property Details - This section denotes all major information about the property in question. This includes address, general description, as well as a legal description (sketch or survey)

Landlord Information - This includes contact information for the landlord, or Lessor. Typically, this involves at least a full name, address, and phone number.

Tenant Information - This section provides the names of all tenants. On a standard lease agreement, a maximum of three tenants may be listed, but may vary depending on the property.

Terms of Residential Lease - This component embodies all particulars of the rental contract itself. This means the amount of rent due each period, the beginning and ending dates of the lease, the date the lease is signed, and the address to which lease payments must be sent. It also covers policies such as late payment and returned check penalties, subletting rules, and security deposit information.

Rights Responsibilities & Liabilities of the Landlord - The details of this section vary from lease to lease, but typically cover issues such as tax, repairs/maintenance, utilities, insurance, liability, and provision of furnishings.

Rights, Responsibilities & Liabilities of the Tenant - This section covers rights such as pets, guests, and peace and quiet, as well as responsibilities such as repairs/maintenance and utilities.

Damages & Insurance - This component deals with damages to the property - who is liable for what.

Keys - This portion details the number of keys distributed and the consequences of a tenant being locked out or losing his or her key.

Termination of Lease - This covers all aspects of lease termination. These include when a Lessor can terminate a lease, when a Lessee can terminate a lease, and how much notice must be given for both.

Lease Renewal - This section details when and how the lease may be renewed. It specifies whether or not the lease will be automatically renewed, and how long in advance the landlord must provide renewal documents.

Property Condition - This covers results of property inspection. These include general condition, wear and tear, and details that affect living conditions. These include: whether the property was built before 1978; whether any lead-based paint has been found on site; whether the property has flooded in the last three years.

State-by-State Security Deposit & Landlord Access Laws & Regulations

Common Disclosures & Additions to Lease Agreements

Assignment of Lease – This document and process works to transfer or assign all rights and property that a tenant possesses to another individual. This document is often used when a tenant wants to get out of a lease that has not yet expired. Rather than abandoning the lease and paying costly fees, this document and process transfers their rights to another individual who would then take over the lease and resume rent payments.

Eviction Forms – Also known as a “Notice to Quit”, this is a notice given by a landlord to order a tenant to vacate the property by a certain date. Each state has a varying minimum notification period as to how much time must be given to the tenant before the eviction becomes effective. This minimum notice is generally 30 days but varies depending on the type of tenancy and state laws.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – A Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form is a document required by federal law that must be issued to all tenants and potential buyers of residences built before 1978. Due to the hazard that lead-based paint possesses when it chips, the U.S Consumer Product and Safety Commission outlawed its use. Unfortunately, the paint may still be present in some residences built before 1978, and this disclosure notifies potential residences and tenants of its presence.

Move-in / Move-out Inspection Checklist – This checklist is a document given to a tenant by a landlord. Required by law in some states, this document helps the landlord keep track of the condition of his or her property by having both the tenant and landlord do a walk-through of the apartment or rental to ensure the good condition of the various components of the living space. This document is also used as a reference guide to spotting any damage to the unit once the tenant moves out.

Notice to Enter – Given to tenants usually 24 to 48 hours in advance, this document notifies tenants that the landlord or hired contractor must enter their apartment for a specific reason. These reasons range from inspections to maintenance and repairs.

Personal Guarantee (Guaranty) – This document is a personal guarantee or written promise that assures a business or lender that an individual will pay their obligations. These promises are unsecured and often attested by a co-signer.

Rent Receipt – A rent receipt is a document that records rent payments that a tenant pays to the landlord. This document generally records the amount of rent paid, the date, as well as pertinent information such as the tenant’s name, and unit number.

Rent Increase Letter – This document is a form used by landlords to notify tenants that their rent will increase and the new rate will become effective on a certain date. This notice must be given according to state laws but is generally given at least 30 days in advance.

Security Deposit Receipt – This document is a receipt that records the security deposit amount that the landlord collects at the beginning of a rental term. This record will keep track of the amount paid to the landlord, and how much the landlord will hold until the tenant moves out. Any deductions for damages or unpaid rent will be deducted from this deposit when the tenant moves out.

Security Deposit Return Letter – Once the lease term is over and the tenant moves out, the landlord will return whatever portion is left from the tenant’s security deposit. This letter documents the fact that the landlord is returning the deposit, in addition to itemizing whatever deductions have been taken from the deposit for damages or cleaning fees, or any interest that has been added to it. This letter and deposit must be returned within a certain period of time as required by state law.

Tenant Rejection Letter – This letter is a notice to a rental applicant that works to inform them that their tenancy application has been rejected. Oftentimes this rejection is because of a lack of creditworthiness, or insufficient income. It is important to note that according to Federal Fair Housing laws, a landlord may not reject a tenant based on discriminatory factors. These factors include age, sex, race, weight, color, creed, nationality, religion, sexual orientation and more.

The Results for a Late Payment of a Lease

Landlords have several options on what to do if they receive late payments from their tenants. One option is to impose a late fee for those who pay rent after the due date. Another option is sending the tenant an official Notice to Pay or Quit. This notice must conform and be sent according to state laws. If state laws permit, the landlord may terminate the lease if the tenant does not pay rent within the window of time specified in the provided notice. Though this window varies from state to state, the fixed window of time can be anywhere between 3 and 30 days.

The Results of Not Complying with a Lease

If a tenant has violated a term of his or her lease that is unrelated to rent payments, the landlord has the option to send an official Notice to Comply or Quit. This notice is intended to notify the tenant of their violation and correct the issue or face eviction.

If the offense reoccurs and the tenant must be sent a second notice within the same lease term (as defined by the state), the landlord is given the freedom to terminate the lease immediately. In states where the landlord has the freedom to do this, the landlord is advised to make it known to the tenant that a second offense would be grounds for eviction. For tenants who commit illegal offenses on the property where the landlord or law enforcement witness such activity, the tenant may subject to immediate lease termination.

Landlord-Tenant Lease Agreement Regulations by State

  • Alabama - Title 35, Chapter 9A (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
    • In Alabama, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent for a security deposit. Other rent-related issues, such as a rise in rent, must be delegated with at least a 30-day notice.
  • Alaska - Title 34, Chapter 3 (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
    • In Alaska, a landlord may charge up to two month’s rent for a security deposit (unless rent exceeds $2,000). Once a tenant moves out, this security deposit must be returned either 14 or 30 days (depending on the circumstance) after the unit has been vacated.
  • Arizona - Title 33, Chapter 10 (Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
    • Arizona’s Tenant/Landlord Law dictates that a landlord may not charge more than one and one-half month’s rent for the security deposit. Landlords may send a Notice to Quit that gives a tenant 10 days to vacate if the tenant has failed to report a criminal record.
  • California - Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities
    • California’s Tenant/Landlord laws direct that a landlord must disclose to the tenants whether or not the gas or electricity from their unit will also serve other areas. For example, exterior lighting or outdoor grills may draw gas or electricity from their unit. Landlords in California also may not charge more than two month’s rent for a security deposit.
  • Colorado - Title 38, Article 12
    • Colorado does not limit the amount that landlords may charge for security deposits but directs they must return such deposits no later than 60 days after the tenant moves out. The state also directs that any tenant who has repeatedly violated the terms of his or her lease may be sent an Unconditional Notice to Quit, forcing them to move out immediately.
  • Connecticut - Chapter 830 – Rights and Responsibilities of Landlord and Tenant
    • In Connecticut, laws delegate that a landlord may charge up to two month’s rent for a security deposit. For tenants who have failed to pay rent, the landlord may present them with an Unconditional Notice to Quit, giving them 3 days to move from the premises.
  • Delaware - Title 25 (Landlord-Tenant Code)
    • On yearly lease agreements, landlords may require a security deposit equivalent to one month’s rent. For month to month lease agreements, there is no security deposit cap. When a tenant has repeatedly violated the terms of his or her lease agreement, the landlord may send him or her an Unconditional Notice to Quit that provides the tenant seven days to move out.
  • Florida - Title VI, Chapter 83, Part II – Residential Tenancies
    • In Florida, tenants have three days to pay overdue rent before a landlord can file for eviction. If a tenant has caused intentional property damage or has repeatedly violated various terms of their lease within the same lease term, the landlord may send the tenant an Unconditional Notice to Quit, giving them seven days to vacate the premises.
  • Georgia - Title 44, Chapter 7 – Landlord and Tenant
    • In Georgia, a landlord must notify tenants of any individual authorized to act on his or her behalf such as a property manager or assistant manager. Tenants who have failed to pay rent more than once within a 12 month period may receive a notice to move out immediately from the landlord.
  • Hawaii - Chapter 521 Residential Landlord-Tenant Code
    • In Hawaii, a landlord may charge up to one month’s rent for a security deposit. If a landlord wishes to raise the rent, he or she must provide the tenants with a notice at least 45 days in advance.
  • Idaho - Landlord and Tenant Guidelines
    • Idaho law dictates that landlords may request any amount for a security deposit. Whatever amount he or she requests from a tenant, the security deposit must be returned within 21 days. Tenants who cause significant damage to a unit may be given an Unconditional Notice to Quit where the tenant is given three days to vacate the property.
  • Illinois - 765 ILCS 705/ – Landlord and Tenant Act
    • The state of Illinois does not limit how much a landlord may request as a security deposit, however, he or she must return the security deposit between 30 and 45 days (depending on whether or not there are deductions). Furthermore, if a tenant has failed to comply to the terms of the rental agreement, the landlord may serve him or her with an Unconventional Notice to Quit, providing 10 days to move out.
  • Indiana - Title 32, Article 31 (Landlord-Tenant Relations)
    • In Indiana, landlords must provide tenants with a 30-day notice before raising their rent. Furthermore, tenants have ten (10) days after the due date to pay their rent before landlords may file for eviction.
  • Iowa - Chapter 562A: Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law
    • The state allows landlords to charge up to two month’s rent for a security deposit. The law also allows landlords to present tenants who present a clear and present danger to other tenants or the landlord a three-day notice to vacate the property.
  • Kansas - Chapter 58, Article 25 (Landlords and Tenants)
    • In Kansas, landlords may charge the equivalent of up to one month’s rent for a security deposit. Landlords may give tenants three to five days (depending on which kind of lease agreement they have) to pay late rent before filing for eviction.
  • Kentucky - KRS Chapter 383 (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
    • In Kentucky, landlords are not limited as to how much they may request from tenants for a security deposit. The state also delegates that landlords may evict any tenant who has committed two similar lease violations within six months by presenting them with an Unconditional Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 14 days to vacate the property.
  • Louisiana - Attorney General’s Guide to Landlord and Tenant Laws
    • Louisiana sets no limit to the amount that landlords may request for a security deposit. Additionally, if a tenant fails to pay rent, Louisiana Tenant Law says that a landlord can present the tenants with a Notice to Quit that allows them 5 days to move out.
  • Maine - Title 14, Chapter  710 (Rental Property)
    • In Maine, a tenant who causes significant damage to the property may be given an Unconditional Notice to Quit that gives the tenant seven days to move out. Additionally, the state limits all security deposit requests to the equivalent of two month’s rent.
  • Maryland - Real Property
    • Maryland Tenant Law limits security deposit amounts to the equivalent of two month’s rent. If the tenant shows a clear danger to him or herself, or others on the property, the landlord may send him or her a notice that allows them 14 days to vacate the property.
  • Massachusetts - Chapter 186 (Estates for years and at will)
    • State law delegates that landlords may charge up to one month’s rent for a security deposit. For all rent related notices, such as a rise in rent amount, the landlord must provide at least a 30-day notice.
  • Michigan - Chapter 554 (Real and Personal Property)
    • Michigan Law caps how much a landlord can request for a security deposit. The most he or she can hold is equivalent to one and one half month’s rent. Landlords may terminate the lease of a tenant who has willfully neglected the terms and agreements of their lease by presenting them with a Notice to Quit, which gives the tenant seven days to vacate the property.
  • Minnesota - Chapter 504B (Landlord and Tenant)
    • Minnesota sets no limit on how much landlords can require for a security deposit. If a tenant does not pay rent after 14 days, the law allows the landlord to file for eviction.
  • Mississippi - Title 89 > Chapter 7 – Landlord and Tenant
    • The state of Mississippi doesn’t limit the amount that a landlord may request from tenants as a security deposit. The state allows landlords to evict tenants who have committed the same or similar lease violations within six months by presenting them with an Unconditional Notice to Quit. This notice gives tenants 14 days to vacate the premises.
  • Missouri - Chapter 441 (Landlord and Tenant)
    • Missouri limits security deposit amounts to the equivalent of two month’s rent. If a tenant is found to be in gambling, prostitution, drug use, sales, or possession, the landlord may present him or her with an Unconditional Notice to Quit, providing them ten days to vacate the premises.
  • Montana - Chapter 24. Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
    • Montana has no state limit one what landlords may charge for security deposits. In addition, if a landlord finds that a tenant is living with an unauthorized person or pet, the landlord may send a notice to vacate the premises in three days.
  • Nebraska - Article 14, Landlord and Tenant
    • The state of Nebraska limits the cap on security deposits to one month. Landlords may present a notice that gives a tenant 14 days to vacate the property if they have repeatedly violated the same or similar terms of their lease within six months.
  • Nevada - Chapter 118A: Landlord and Tenant
    • Nevada restricts the amount that landlords can charge for security deposits (three month’s rent). If landlords wish to raise the rent, he or she must present the tenant with at least a 45-day notice.
  • New Hampshire - Chapter 540 (Actions Against Tenants)
    • The state of New Hampshire delegates that the most that landlords may set security deposits is the equivalent of one month’s rent, or $100 (whichever amount is greater). Furthermore, rent related issues, such as a rise in rent, must be sent with at least a 30 day notice.
  • New Jersey - Title 46 (2013 Revised Statutes “Property”)
    • New Jersey Law delegates that a landlord must return a tenant’s deposit (which is to be no more than one and a half month’s rent) no later than 30 days. This deposit is to be returned within five days if there is a fire, flood, evacuation or condemnation.
  • New Mexico - Owner-Resident Relations
    • In New Mexico, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent as a security deposit. If a tenant violates the same or similar terms of his or her lease within a six month period, the landlord may send the tenant an Unconditional Notice to Quit that allows seven days before they must vacate the premises.
  • New York - Article 7: Landlord and Tenant
    • In New York, there is no limit that landlords must adhere to when it comes to a secuirty deposit amount for an apartment or rental. Furthermore, tenants have three days to pay late rent before a landlord may file for eviction.
  • North Carolina - Chapter 42 (Landlord and Tenant)
    • In North Carolina, tenants have ten days to pay overdue rent and late fees before a landlord may file for eviction. Furthermore, landlords who are holding the tenant’s security deposit (usually the equivalent of one and a half to two month’s rent) must provide the name and address of the banking institution where the deposit will be held.
  • North Dakota - Chapter 47-16 (Leasing of Property)
    • In North Dakota, landlords must supply the tenant with a move-in checklist that details the condition of the property. In addition, the landlord may not request a security deposit of more than one month’s rent unless the tenant has a pet. If the tenant has a pet, the landlord may request up to two month’s rent, as long as the amount does not exceed $2,500.
  • Ohio - Chapter 5321 (Titled: Landlords and Tenants)
    • The state of Ohio doesn’t limit the amount that landlords may request for security deposits. In addition, landlords who refuse or neglect to pay rent may be presented an Unconditional Notice to Quit which gives them three days to vacate the premises.
  • Oklahoma - Title 41 (Landlord and Tenant)
    • The state of Oklahoma does not limit the amount that landlords may charge for security deposits. Additionally, the state gives the landlord permission to serve a tenant an Unconditional Notice to Quit, forcing them to move out immediately if they are found to have been involved in criminal activity on the premises.
  • Oregon - Title 10, Chapter 90 (Residential Landlord & Tenant)
    • Oregon does not limit the amount that a landlord may request any amount for a security deposit. Tenants who have caused intentional destruction to the property can legally be sent a notice by the landlord that gives them 24 hours to move off the property.
  • Pennsylvania - Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 (Title 68)
    • Pennsylvania dictates that the most that a landlord may charge for a security deposit is the equivalent of two month’s rent for the first year and one month’s rent for any subsequent year. Rent related issues such as rent increase notices are to be served to the tenant no later than 10 days before the increase will be in effect.
  • Rhode Island - Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (Chapter 34-18)
    • Rhode Island limits security deposit amounts to the equivalent of one month’s rent. Additionally, any rent-related issues, such as rent increases, must be sent to the tenant at least 30 days in advance.
  • South Carolina - Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (Title 27, Chapter 40)
    • South Carolina sets no limit as to what amount landlords may request for security deposits. Additionally, the state provides tenants with a five day grace period to pay late rent before the landlord may file for eviction.
  • South Dakota - Chapter 43-32 (Lease of Real Property)
    • Security deposits in South Dakota are capped at the equivalent of one month’s rent. Additionally, rent related issues such as rent increases must be sent via written notice to the tenant at least one month before the notice is to take effect.
  • Tennessee - Title 66, Chapter 28 (Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act)
    • Tennessee allows tenants to withhold rent or “repair and deduct” if the landlord fails or neglects to repair broken items in the unit. The state also does not put a cap on the amount that landlords may request for security deposits.
  • Texas - Residential Title 8, Chapter 92
    • Texas does not limit security deposit amounts. Additionally, the state allows landlords to serve tenants who have failed to pay rent with eviction notices, giving them three days to move out.
  • Utah - Title 57 – Real Estate
    • The state of Utah has no limit that landlords may charge tenants for security deposits. Additionally, the state directs that tenants have three days to pay past-due rent before a landlord can file for eviction. 
  • Vermont - Title 9, Chapter 137: Residential Rental Agreements
    • Vermont has no limit that landlords may request from tenants for a security deposit, however, the state does delegate that landlords return such deposit to the tenant no later than 14 days after they move out. Rent related issues, such as rent increases, must be sent with written notice at least 30 days in advance.
  • Virginia - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act
    • Virginia limits security deposits to the equivalent of two month’s rent. Furthermore, the law allows landlords to serve tenants who have repeatedly violated terms of their lease with an Unconditional Notice to Quit, giving them 30 days to vacate the premises.
  • Washington - State Laws (Title 59)
    • Washington sets no limit on the amount that landlords may charge tenants for a security deposit. Furthermore, rent-related issues, such as rent increases, must be sent to the tenant at least 30 days in advance.
  • West Virginia - State Codes Chapter 37 (Real Property)
    • West Virginia Law dictates that tenants must disclose specific facts to tenants, such as the purpose or cause of any specific non-refundable fees. Also, the state does not set a cap on the amount that landlords may request from tenants.
  • Wisconsin - Chapter 704 (Landlord & Tenant)
    • Wisconsin does not limit the amount that landlords may require as a security deposit. In addition, the law allows landlords to send tenants who fail to pay rent on time, Unconditional Notices to Quit, demanding they vacate the property.
  • Wyoming - Article 12 (Residential Rental Property)
    • In Wyoming, landlords must disclose specific information to the tenants before they move in, such as which part (if any) of the security deposit is non-refundable and why. In Addition, the law allows landlords to evict tenants who are more than three days late paying rent.

A Step-by-Step Process of Writing a Lease Agreement

Step 1 - Landlord and Tenant Information:

In this first section, enter the date that the lease is signed. Additionally, include the name of the landlord as well as the name of the tenant. If there will be a secondary tenant or a third tenant, input their names in the appropriate spaces.

Step 2 - Property Description:

Include the legal property description or sketch of the property. It is important to note that the legal description or sketch is different than the physical address.

Step 3 - Rent Due Dates:

Provide the specific day of each month that the rent is due. Additionally, provide the number of days after the rent is due that a late fee will be charged.

Step 4 - Payment Information:

Provide the address to where the lease payments are to be sent each month. This should be the full address, including the city, state, and zip code. Additionally, include the fee amount.

Step 5 - Insurance:

Specify which type of insurance the tenant must carry to remain in good standing with the landlord. This section will explain to the renter that he or she must carry some form of insurance (as described below) and will detail which kind.

Step 6 - Disclosures:

In this section, indicate whether or not the property was built before or after 1978. If the property was built before 1978, be sure that you include a disclosure that notifies them that the property may contain lead-based paint.

Indicate whether or not there is lead-based paint on the property based on inspection.

In addition, include an asbestos disclosure.

Step 7 - Pets:

Indicate whether or not pets are allowed on the property. If so, indicate the number of pets allowed, and which kind. State how much the deposit is to house pets in the apartment.

Step 8 - Notices:

This section provides both the tenant and the lessee an official address of where notices are to be sent. First, input the name of the landlord, followed by his or her full address (including city, state, and zip code). Next, provide the official address where notices are to be sent/delivered.

For the lessee, input his or her name, followed by the name of any secondary or third tenant. Next, input his or her address that notices will be sent. This address is to include the city, state, and zip code.

Step 9 - Signatures:

For the required signatures, input the date that the landlord is signing the lease, followed by his or her name. Finally, the landlord must sign on the line.

The tenant will do the same thing. Underneath the landlord’s information, the tenant will write the date that the lease is being signed, followed by his or her name and signature.

*If the lease is being signed in the state of Washington, including the state property number.  

What are the key components of a rental agreement template?

A rental agreement might sound like an abstruse piece of legal work, but in actuality it’s nothing more than a lease – something you’ve surely seen if you’ve ever been a landlord or a tenant.  Usually it’s the landlord, formally known as the lessor, who composes the rental agreement (or hires someone else to do it).  Nevertheless, it is important for both renters and tenants to be familiar with the main components of a rental agreement.  This is because a tenant, formally known as a lessee, should expect certain elements to be included in such an agreement when he or she signs it.  For all parties involved, knowledge is an indispensable asset when considering whether or not to sign a rental agreement.

Now, there are a number of ways to approach the task of constructing a rental agreement.  Hiring an attorney or other legal expert is certainly one way to accomplish this, but this route might be prohibitive due to its high cost.  Besides, paying a large sum of money to a legal expert might not even be necessary, as rental agreement templates often look very similar and it’s entirely possible that the so-called legal expert is actually using a standard rental contract that he or she didn’t even write.  Another option is for the lessor to attempt to write up a rental agreement himself.  This is probably not a smart way to save money, since this is a legally binding document and a mistake or omission can end up causing a great deal of trouble.  Probably the best solution is to locate and use a high-quality rental agreement template.  Internet search engines can help you find a rental lease agreement template that fits your particular situation, and the best part is that oftentimes you can even find a free rental agreement if you include the word “free” in your keyword search.

rental agreement template

It should be known, though, that not every rental lease agreement template is necessarily going to be correct or complete.  A free rental agreement template is not such a great deal if it fails to include certain components.  For starters, the names and all relevant contact information (address, telephone number, and e-mail address) should be somewhere in the rental agreement.  Those names will be seen again toward the bottom of the document, where the lessor and lessee sign it.  There also ought to be pertinent information about the property itself:  where it is physically located (street address), any furniture and appliances included with the property, and any other relevant details about the property that is being leased.  If any of these elements appear to be missing from a rental agreement template, then you should probably abandon that template and find another one.

In addition to the foregoing, any lease template will need to have certain financial information.  In particular, there should be an indication of the expected monthly rent payment to be made by the lessee, as well as the security deposit that must be remitted upon signing the lease.  Financial penalties for late payment or nonpayment of monthly rent also ought to be mentioned in the template.  Moreover, a property damage clause specifying the financial consequences for damaging the leased property should be integrated into the rental contract.

A high-quality rental agreement template should leave room for some optional conditions that may pertain to the tenant.  Certain questions may need to be answered in the lease such as:  Will the price of the monthly rent include utilities?  Are certain pets permitted on the premises?  What are the due dates for rent payment?  Is the standard lease agreement for a fixed term (such as one year), or will it be a month-to-month agreement?  Keep an eye out for these considerations when searching for a rental agreement template.

To sum it all up, if you’re searching for a usable template for a rental agreement form, there are a number of vital components that you should expect to see in that document.  Having a lease template with all of the necessary elements will help assure you that the document will serve its intended purpose and protect you from possible legal issues down the road.

Featured Study

Stadiums or Schools: An Analysis of Public Expenditures

By Jackson Hille & Justin Gomer - June 21, 2017

Many of you are likely wondering why we'd put an analysis comparing public spending on professional sports stadiums and schools on our lease agreement page. It's actually pretty straightforward.

Students in a classroom next to sports fans in a stadium

My job entails daily Google searches of "lease agreements." After doing this routinely for the last thirty months, I've noticed a through-line: a consistent and significant amount of news coverage of new leases for sports stadiums across the country. Many of these were familiar--e.g. the Oakland Raiders ongoing relocation drama--but many others were for facilities I'd never heard of.

Also, prior to entering the private workforce, at my alma mater, UC Berkeley, I conducted education policy research for two years. So, when I often think about public policy matters, it is in the context of education. Therefore, these two threads of my own intellectual curiosity led me to wonder if anyone had analyzed state spending on sports stadiums in comparison to education expenditures. While I found research papers, books, and editorials on each subject, none of those studies connected the two. That's what we tried to do here. Our goal here is not to make a political statement.1 Instead, we hope that increased transparency of knowledge elicits a more critical understanding of the public funds tied to sports stadiums in their lease agreements and a more critical civic conversation regarding the opportunity cost of investing in sports stadiums.

1To understand the political context of our study, read our article in Black Perspectives published by the African American Intellectual History Society.

What we found is that ten states have allocated public funds to fund new professional sports stadiums since 2008. This does not include state expenditures on collegiate or high-school sports facilities. While there are certainly debates we should have over, for example, how much a state spends on high school instruction versus a high school football stadium, because school (i.e. college and high-school) sports facilities are technically part of a school and have some (the size of which is, of course, debatable) educational benefit, we left them out. We therefore focused on public revenue used to finance professional sports stadiums for privately owned teams.

The ten states have allocated nearly six billion dollars for these facilities since 2008. What's troubling is that six of those states--Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New York, Texas and Wisconsin--have, over the same period, cut their education budgets. Those six states have allocated over $4 billion to help finance privately owned sports stadiums while at the same time cutting their state education budgets. Most alarming, three of those states--Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin--rank in the top 12 among states that have cut education budgets since 2008.

US Map of School vs. Stadium funding

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Among the four states that haven't cut education budgets overall while approving hundreds of millions of dollars for sports stadiums, only Pennsylvania (6.3%) has increased education spending more than 5% since 2008. The other three states increases in education therefore are marginal, with two of the states--Nevada and Indiana--raising education budgets less than 2%, which when one includes inflation, isn't an increase at all.

Those who defend giving public dollars to privately owned businesses for stadiums insist that once completed the facilities bring economic benefit to the city that far exceeds the public investment. However, study after study after study has found that this is not the case. In fact, there is very little evidence that new stadiums equate to increased jobs and revenue in a city.

With that in mind, the willingness of these states to hand out billions of dollars to privately owned sports stadiums while at the same time divesting from public education raises larger ethical questions about tax expenditures.

What follows is a more detailed analysis of the six states--Georgia, Florida, Michigan, New York, Texas and Wisconsin--that have publically allocated billions of dollars while cutting their education budgets. These individual reports offer specific details on the dollar amounts invested and cut, as well as the specific projects financed. I hope you enjoy reading!

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington DC-based nonpartisan research and policy institute, the state of Florida cut total state funding per student, inflation-adjusted, by 7.8% between 2008 and 2016.

This includes a 23% cut in per-pupil funding in the state's public colleges and universities ($2132 per college student), which has led to a 64% increase, nearly $2500/year, in tuition.

$342 million of that $689 million went to the Amway Center, home of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Orlando Magic, in 2008. The total cost of the Amway Center was $480 million. In other words, taxpayers covered over 71% of the cost.

The other $349 million went to Marlins Park, home of Major League Baseball's (MLB) Miami Marlins, which broke ground in 2009 and opened in 2012. The nearly $350 million taxpayer contribution for Marlins Park amounted to just under half to total construction cost.

Florida Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

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Michigan Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Michigan cut total state funding per student, inflation-adjusted, by 1.7% between 2008 and 2016.

This includes a 21% cut in per-pupil funding in the state's public colleges and universities ($1233 per college student), which has led to a more than 23% increase, $2276/year, in tuition.

Yet, during the same period the state approved a quarter-billion dollars to help build Little Caesars Arena, future home of the Detroit Pistons (NBA) and Red Wings (NHL). The public contribution equals roughly one-third of the projected total construction cost.

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According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of New York cut total state funding per student, inflation-adjusted, by 3% between 2008 and 2016.

This includes a 6% cut in per-pupil funding in the state's public colleges and universities ($670 per college student), which has led to a more than 30% increase, $1841/year, in tuition.

While the 3% total cut may seem marginal, during the same period the state approved over $2.3 billion dollars of public funds for sports stadiums.

$564 million went towards the Barclays Stadium, home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. That figure amounted to more than half the total cost of the arena. The arena's owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, has an estimated net worth of nearly $9 billion.

$643 million went to Citi Field, home of MLB's New York Mets. That amount comprised more than two-thirds of the $900 total cost of construction.

Largest of all, over $1.1 billion went to the New Yankee Stadium, nearly half the total cost of the complex. In 2016 Forbes ranked the Yankees as the fourth most valuable franchise in the entire world, placing their worth at $3.4 billion.

New York Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

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Texas Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Texas cut total state funding per student, inflation-adjusted, by 11% between 2008 and 2016.

This includes a 17% cut in per-pupil funding in the state's public colleges and universities ($1550 per college student), which has led to a nearly 25% increase, $1744/year, in tuition.

During the same period, Texas taxpayers paid $337 million to help build AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. That figure amounts to over one-quarter the cost of what was, at the time, the nation's most expensive sports arena. In 2016 Forbes ranked the Cowboys as the most valuable franchise in the entire world, placing their worth at $4 billion.

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According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Wisconsin cut total state funding per student, inflation-adjusted, by over 14% between 2008 and 2016.

This includes a 25% cut in per-pupil funding in the state's public colleges and universities ($1634 per college student), which has led to a more than 20% increase, $1485/year, in tuition.

During the same period, Wisconsin taxpayers paid $250 million to help build the new Milwaukee Bucks Arena, officially named the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. The arena broke ground in 2016 and will be completed in 2018. The $250 million public contribution amounts to nearly half the total cost of the arena.

As alarming as the data on these five states may be, they pale in comparison to two others--Arizona and Georgia. Those two states have the distinction of allocating hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds for stadiums while also ranking in the top-5 nationally in education cuts. More troubling, the public allocations for sports stadiums by these two states are the two most recent national instances of public stadium financing, suggesting that the combination of publicly funding sports stadiums while cutting education expenditures is here to stay.

Wisconsin Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

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Georgia Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Georgia cut total state funding per student, inflation-adjusted, by 16.5% between 2008 and 2016, fourth highest in the country.

This includes a 20% cut in per-pupil funding in the state's public colleges and universities ($2151 per college student), which has led to a nearly 77% increase, almost $3700/year, in tuition.

Nonetheless, taxpayers footed over $400 million of the $622 million bill for the brand new SunTrust Field, home of the Atlanta Braves (MLB). It is worth noting that the approval of those funds occurred under ethically questionable circumstances. Vice Sports, in fact, characterized the SunTrust field deal as the "worst stadium deal in history" for taxpayers. Adding on to the inexorable heap of public funds Georgians are committing to sports stadiums, the Atlanta Falcons new stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, has "close to $700 million in public money" committed to it as boasted by the Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who is the founder of The Home Depot and worth north of $3 billion dollars.

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Four other states--Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, and Pennsylvania--have increased per pupil spending during the eight year period under consideration. However, those increases are marginal, and did not even keep pace with inflation. Of the four, Pennsylvania increased spending the most (6.3%), while Nevada's increased education spending amounts to slightly more than 1%.

Importantly, the slim increases in education broadly occlude each of these sate's drastic cuts in higher education. In that sense, these states have far more in common with the aforementioned states that have cut education overall. Here's a breakdown:

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Indiana cut per-student funding for the state's public colleges and universities by 6% between 2008 and 2016.

This amounts to $438 less per student in state support, which has resulted in a 16% increase, $1261/year, in tuition.

During the same period, Indiana taxpayers allocated $485 million to help build Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. The $485 million public contribution equaled roughly two-thirds the total cost of the arena.

Indiana Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

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Minnesota Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Minnesota cut per-student funding for the state's public colleges and universities by 15% between 2008 and 2016.

This amounts to $1351 less per student in state support, which has resulted in a 21.5% increase, $1918/year, in tuition.

During the same period, the state allocated $563 million in public funds to help build two sports arenas. Target Field, home of Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins, received $171 million of public support, more than 30% of the $555 million sticker price. The future home of the Minnesota Vikings (NFL), US Bank Stadium, will receive nearly $400 million in public funds, nearly 35% of the construction bill, before it's completed.

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According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Nevada cut per-student funding for the state's public colleges and universities by 28% between 2008 and 2016.

This amounts to $3147 less per student in state support, which has resulted in a more than 47% increase, $2154/year, in tuition.

However, the state recently, after the aforementioned education cuts, agreed to spend $750 million, more than 37% of the $2 billion projected price tag, of public funds to build the new Las Vegas Raiders (NFL) stadium.

Nevada Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

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Pennsylvania Schools vs. Stadiums infographic

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of Pennsylvania cut per-student funding for the state's public colleges and universities by one-third between 2008 and 2016.

This amounts to $2234 less per student in state support, which has resulted in a nearly 20% increase, $2204/year, in tuition.

Yet, during the same period the state approved $288 million of public monies to help fund nearly the entire cost of construction of PPG Paints Arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL).

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Suppose the more than $6.5 billion of public dollars spent on sports arenas had instead been invested in education. Since the clearest data we found deals with higher education, what if all that money was spent keeping tuition down at public colleges and universities? If you take each state's Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment at four-year public colleges and universities, here's what the state by state breakdown of tuition savings would look like.

Remember that this hypothetical would be a one-time expenditure. Even still, Nevada jumps out. It is important to recall that the state has spent none of the $750 million public contribution for the new Las Vegas Raiders Stadium. Nevertheless, if that money was spent subsidizing the tuition costs of the students at the state's four-year public colleges and universities, at $11,206/ student the state could cover 100% of the tuition for every student for 1.68 years. In other words, for $2,128 a student could pay for two-years of college.

Tuition savings per student in ten states

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Ultimately, the issue of using taxpayer dollars to fund privately owned sports stadiums raises larger ethical questions about public expenditures. These questions become particularly important when situated within the recent history of cuts to education budgets and rising college tuition costs in most states. Moreover, in an era of incessant government austerity, shouldn't we be putting specific fiscal constraints on the lease agreements between professional sports teams and state governments? This seems especially prudent given the fact that virtually every analysis of the long term economic effects of stadiums find no evidence that cities receive anywhere near an attractive return on their investment. Cities, in fact, lose money on these investments. Most recently, a study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that "86 percent of economists agreed that 'local and state governments in the U.S. should eliminate subsidies to professional sports franchises.'"

Considering the antitrust exemption enjoyed by sports teams and the often billionaire net worths of their owners, maybe it is time to consider laws that require owners commit a sizeable majority percentage of funding for stadiums in their lease agreements before the public has to commit any funds, or prohibits state support altogether. Moreover, if we are going to continue to divert public monies to sports stadiums, maybe it is time for sports teams to commit more real economic development to their local communities. For instance, what if all team-branded apparel had to be manufactured in the city where the sports team is based; this way, not only will the additional jobs and attendant tax revenue help make up for the loss of public funds being committed to the stadiums, but also fans will actually know that their investment in fandom can truly benefit their community. If the Raiders are going to charge you $99.99 for an Oakland Raiders Derek Carr jersey, then the least they could do is ensure that a decent chunk of that money is staying in the Town, at least for the time being.

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