An apartment rental lease agreement is a blueprint of tenancy. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenants. Not only is it a legally binding contract that the parties can enforce in court but also a highly practical document that is full of important business details such as the rent amount due each month and how long the tenant can occupy the property.
The apartment lease agreement is a tenant contract that defines in clear, thorough terms what is expected of the Tenant and the landlord, including rent, the duration of the Agreement, and rules regarding pets. A professionally designed, well thought out, and well-worded apartment lease agreement can help serve both parties’ interests and ensure that they are both protected as neither can alter the Agreement without the consent of the other.
Basic Clauses to Include
Whether you want to lease your apartments yearly or simply rent out a unit each month, you will need to use a lease agreement to specify what’s expected of you as well as the Tenant. When designing your apartment lease agreement, make sure to include the following clauses:
Names of the tenant
when creating an apartment lease agreement, it is important that you include not only the names of you and your primary Tenant but also any other adults who will be occupying the premises. This is to ensure that all the adults who will be staying in your Apartment are responsible for their duties and responsibilities as enshrined in the Agreement, including rent payment. It also means that you will be able to terminate the Agreement should any of the Tenant violate the terms of the Agreement.
The terms of the tenancy
what is expected of the Tenant (s) during the duration of the Agreement? When should the rent be remitted? This clause should also include the length of time the Tenant has the right to live in the Apartment.
Description of the apartment
Your apartment lease agreement should include the complete address of the property -including the unit number, if applicable. You also want to include any specific parking spots or storage areas that are included. For example, if the Apartment includes assigned parking spots, be sure to include the spot number in the Agreement. Also, make sure that you specify all the areas restricted to the tenants.
Don’t just write the rent amount- clearly state when and how it is to be paid, such as by mail to your office, by cheque, or direct deposit. To avoid any confusion and inconveniences, make sure to spell out details such as:
- The acceptable modes of payment
- The penalties for late payment, the amount of fee to be charged, and the grace period
- Any charges should the check bounce.
Security deposits and fees
Security deposits are usually a very contentious issue between the Tenant and the landlord, so it is important that your apartment lease agreement is specific about the security deposit. Avoid some of the common disputes by including:
- The exact amount of the security deposit
- How you intend to use the deposit
- Whether you expect the Tenant to replace the deposit should you have to make deductions mid-tenancy, for example, if you must repair something they broke two months into the tenancy
- Any non-refundable fees that they may incur during the tenancy
It is vital to include details on where you’ll hold the security deposit and whether you will refund the Tenant with interest on their deposit.
Repair and maintenance policies
Both you as the landlord or the property management company and the Tenant should have a specific maintenance duty under the apartment lease agreement, and these should be plainly set out in the terms. The Tenant, for example, must ensure that the premises are always clean as well as be responsible for any damages they cause. The terms of the Agreement should also mandate the Tenant to notify any repairs (wear and tear) for which you are responsible.
If you do not allow pets into the premises, this should be clearly stated in the Agreement. If you allow them to have pets, on the other hand, make sure to specify the maximum number of pets permitted, and remember to include the kinds of pets permitted.
Right of entry
Failing to do your duties as a landlord can place you in violation of the lease, but what if your Tenant denies you entry into the premise to fulfill your duties such as repairs, for example? Your apartment lease agreement should specify the conditions under which you are allowed access to the Apartment and the notice period you should afford the Tenant before entry.
Disruptive behavior and illegal activities
Your apartment lease agreement should have a clause that outlines what constitutes disruptive behavior and illegal activities and prohibit such activities and behavior. Your apartment lease agreement should also state that such activities or behavior constitute grounds for lease termination.
Damage/alteration to premises
Your Agreement should highlight who is responsible for damages or alterations made to the apartment. Furthermore, it should also outline what types of alterations your Tenant can make and when they must seek your approval or permission before making certain alterations.
Apartment Lease Agreement Template
This apartment rental lease agreement (this “contract”) is made this _____day of _______ 20____ by and between _____________“(landlord/property manager/company name/apartment community) located at ________________ (location of the Apartment). Each Tenant is accountable for the payment of rent. This is in conjunction with all the terms and conditions of this Contract, including an addendum.
1. Property. This Apartment is located at ____________ (city) and is herein referred to as the “Apartment.”
2. Arrangement to Lease. The landlord/property management company agrees to lease to the Tenant. The Tenant also agrees to lease from the landlord/property management company, the Apartment, according to the set terms and conditions of this Contract.
3. Term. This Apartment Lease Agreement will be for a term of ________ (number) months commencing on ___________ (start date) and ending on ____________ (end-date).
4. Rent. The Tenant will pay the landlord/property management company a monthly rent of ______________ (a dollar amount). The rent paid on or before _________________ (date) of each month as indebted by the designated and agreed upon term.
5. Payment. The rent shall be remitted directly to the landlord/property management company at the address stated above. The rent can be paid using a credit or a debit card for an additional fee ______________ (amount). The payment can also be made by mail or in person by check in the landlord’s/property management office.
6. Additional monies. Under this apartment lease agreement, there could be situations where the Tenant may be required to pay extra monies to the landlord/property management company. The extra charges will be in addition to the rent under this Agreement and shall therefore be paid upon the upcoming commonly scheduled rent due date.
7. Use of Property. Only the Tenant whose name is listed in this Agreement and their immediate family also with his/her/their pet(s) can live in the Apartment. The Apartment will only be used for residential purposes, and no illegal activities will be allowed in or on the Apartment.
8. Apartment Possession. If the landlord/property management company does give possession of the dwelling to the Tenant of the _________ (date), the Tenant shall not be liable for rent starting on the start date of the Agreement but only after possession of the Apartment is given to the Tenant.
9. Security Deposit. Upon signing this Contract, the Tenant will be required to pay a security deposit in the amount of _____________ (amount) to the______________ (apartment management company/landlord/apartment community name). The paid deposit shall be retained by the landlord/property management company as security for the Tenant’s fulfillment of their duties and responsibilities under this Agreement.
If the Tenant fails to abide by the Terms and conditions of this Contract, the Landlord/property management company may apply the security deposit as payment of any amount owed by the Tenant for damages incurred and costs incurred by the landlord/property management company due to the Tenant’s inability to comply to the terms and conditions enshrined in this Agreement.
Disclosures and Amendments Provisions
This Apartment Lease Agreement is many only be amended/modified by way of a written agreement signed by the landlord/property management company and the tenant.
Property Management Company/Landlord:______________________ (Name)
Company Representative Signature:_____________________
Tenant Signature: _________________
Free Templates & Forms
Following are free editable sample apartment lease agreements along with customizable templates:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference between a Rental Agreement and a Lease Agreement?
As a landlord, your tenants often expect you to know it all, whether you rent out a single property as a supplementary form of income or manage several properties. Whatsoever the case, there is often a point of confusion for many: what is the difference between a rental agreement and a lease?
Many times, the terms “Rental Agreement” and “lease agreement” are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. However, the terms can refer to two different types of Agreements.
Rental agreements are almost the same as lease agreements. The prime difference between the two is the difference in the contract duration. A rental agreement provides for tenancy for a short period, usually 30 days, and unless the landlord or the Tenant provides a move-out notice, the lease is automatically renewed. Consequently, the terms of the Agreement can also be changed each month.
On the other hand, a lease provides the Tenant the right to reside in the property for a specific term, which usually runs for six months to a year or more, and unless the Tenant agrees, the terms and conditions set during the start of the lease cannot be changed.
Can I write my own apartment lease agreement?
Yes, you can. An apartment lease agreement is an agreement between you (the landlord) and your Tenant (s). Lease agreements usually include standard items such as the amount of rent, the duration of the Agreement, who will be responsible for various items, and the penalties that can be incurred for not breaching the Agreement.
Can an Apartment lease agreement be used as proof of address?
In most cases, a valid rental lease agreement can be used as proof of address. However, this may not be the same for all the states. Make sure to check with your state laws before using the lease agreement as proof of address.