How to Write a Lease
Are you renting your property for the first time? Signing a lease agreement with your
tenant will help ensure that the process goes smoothly, and give you legal recourse if it doesn't.
A lease should be written in clear, straightforward language and include payment terms, rules
the tenant must follow, and details on what will happen if either party breaks the agreement.
You can start with a standard lease and alter it to fit your individual needs and adhere to
the laws in your jurisdiction. Read on to learn more about how to write a lease.
Title the lease
At the top of the paper, write "Residential Lease" or another appropriate title to make
it clear that this is a legal contract.
Identify all parties to the lease agreement
Clearly list the landlord's name and address and the tenant's name and address, making
it clear who is the lessee and who is the lessor. Include additional contact information such
as telephone numbers and email addresses if you wish.
Describe the asset that is covered by the rental agreement
If you're writing a residential lease, write out the complete address and apartment number
of the rental property.Describe the property's condition at the time of the rental agreement.
State the length of the lease agreement
This should have starting and ending dates as well as the specific length of time in
days, weeks or months that the agreement lasts. If there is any scheduled interruption in the
continuity of the usage, or if there is an option for early lease termination, this should
be specified. Most leases last three months, six months, or a year. You also have the option
of issuing a monthly or weekly lease agreement.
Account for all funds associated with the lease agreement
For a housing agreement, payment information should include the rent amount and stipulations
regarding how it should be paid. Write what day of the month the rent is due, and where it
should be sent.
Specify the whether a late fee will be charged after a certain amount of time and the
amount. For example, you could write, "If the tenant pays more than ten days after the due
date, the tenant will be charged a $60.00 late fee."
Describe the terms of the deposit. State the amount of the deposit and the terms under
which it will be returned. Note that the deposit won't be returned unless the property is in
good condition at the end of the lease. State how many days after the lease is completed the
deposit will be returned.
State who is in charge of paying utilities (gas, water, and electricity), taking care
of trash and recycling, maintaining the outdoor areas on the property, and any other responsibilities
specific to the rental property.
Check into local laws to find out how to parse out the responsibilities. In some cases
the landlord is legally obligated to pay for gas and water, while in other areas the tenant
may take care of these expenses.
Outline who is responsible for making repairs, keeping appliances in working order, and
so on. Again, you should check into local laws to determine what your role should be. In most
cases the landlord is responsible for keeping the living space safe and functional.
State that the tenant is responsible for informing the landlord about problems with the
rental property, including safety concerns, lost keys, and so on.