You are often encouraged to fully read over important agreements for a mortgage or a car lease, but it is equally important to have a full understanding of rental agreements with a landlord. Also called a lease, the rental agreement will provide you with an outline of responsibilities, rights, and more.
Negotiations between landlord and tenant
This article will provide an overview of the basics of rental agreements, but there may be more provisions included or changed depending on negotiations between the landlord and the tenant. In all cases, both parties need to be sure they agree to all changes/provisions. All leases will clarify the names and addresses of the signing parties. Other names and signatures may be included if someone co-signs or if there is a property manager involved as well. Two of the most important details are the amount and term of rent. All parties must agree to the same number that must be paid in rent as well as how long the tenant can reside in the property. You don’t want the tenant to accidentally pay more than they need to or assume they can stay longer than they actually can.
There are other important provisions in a rental agreement that will vary based on the unit and agreement. For example, it must be clarified whether the landlord or the tenant pays for utilities and, if the responsibility is shared, who must pay what utility. While living in a unit, there can be things inside the property that get damaged and require repair. Make sure the rental agreement spells out the tenant’s responsibilities and whether the tenant or the landlord will cover repair costs. Other clauses include having a pet-free space, the number of occupants, permission to sublet, and termination of the lease. For any of these clauses or rights, if you feel as though you do not understand something, or a clause may be illegal, consult California laws on a tenancy or consult with an attorney.