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Standard Residential Lease

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What is a residential lease agreement?

A lease agreement is a legal contract between a landlord and a tenant that outlines the terms and conditions of renting a property. The lease agreement typically includes details such as the rental amount, the duration of the lease, the responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant, and any restrictions or rules that apply to the use of the property. It is important for both the landlord and the tenant to carefully read and understand the lease agreement before signing it. Remember this is a legally binding document that governs the landlord-tenant relationship for the duration of the lease.

What types of lease agreements exist?

Although this post is devoted to standard residential lease agreements, there are several other types of lease agreements that exist. A few common types of lease agreements include:

  1. Residential Lease Agreement: This is a lease agreement that is used when renting a house, apartment or other type of residential property. It typically outlines the terms of the lease, including the rent amount, payment due date, security deposit, and length of the lease.
  2. Sublease: A sublease agreement is used when a tenant rents out a portion of their leased space to another tenant. It typically outlines the terms and conditions of the sublease, including the rent amount, payment due date, and length of the sublease.
  3. Lease with Option to Purchase: This type of lease agreement gives the tenant the option to purchase the property at the end of the lease term. The agreement outlines the terms of the lease and the purchase option, including the purchase price, purchase option fee, and the length of the option period.
  4. Month-to-Month Lease: In a month-to-month lease agreement, the tenant rents the property on a month-to-month basis. This type of lease agreement typically has a shorter lease term, and the rent amount may be subject to change each month.
  5. Commercial Lease Agreement: People use this type of lease to rent commercial property, such as a retail stores, offices, or warehouses It typically outlines the rent amount, payment due date, security deposit, lease term, and other terms specific to the use of commercial property.
  6. Net Lease: In a net lease agreement, the tenant is responsible for paying some or all of the property expenses. Such expenses generally include property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.
  7. Gross Lease: In a gross lease agreement, the landlord is responsible for paying all of the property expenses. And the tenant pays a set rent amount.
  8. Equipment Lease: People use this type of lease agreement when renting equipment or machinery. Typically, it outlines the terms of the lease. Terms might include the rent amount, payment due date, security deposit, and length of the lease.

Additionally if both parties agree, you can modify the terms of the original lease agreement with a lease amendment. Similarly, you can end an existing lease with a lease termination letter.  And you can extend a rental for another term with a lease renewal.

Where to find free residential lease agreement forms?

Our “go to” easy and quick online resource for free and detailed information about leases is Legal Templates. Here you can create customized PDF and Word documents that should satisfy basic statutory requirements of your state. We especially like their up to date video reviewing residential lease basics and detailing how to fill out a lease.

Alternatively we just found quite a few attorney drafted and/or approved, printable leases on Etsy.

The American Bar Association advises that you do not need to use a lawyer to write a lease. Leases are generally legally valid if they meet your state’s requirements. 

Additionally, we highly recommend having a lawyer review any complex lease agreements. Landlords tend to favor themselves in form leases, but tenants can negotiate.

Example of a very simple residential lease agreement


This Lease Agreement (“Agreement”) is made and entered into on [date], between [Landlord’s Name] (“Landlord”), and [Tenant’s Name] (“Tenant”).

  1. Premises: Landlord hereby leases to Tenant the property located at [Address], for the term of [Lease Term], commencing on [Lease Start Date] and ending on [Lease End Date].
  2. Rent: Tenant shall pay Landlord rent in the amount of [Rent Amount] per month, payable on the [Rent Due Date] of each month.
  3. Security Deposit: Tenant shall pay a security deposit of [Security Deposit Amount] to Landlord upon execution of this Agreement.
  4. Use of Premises: Tenant shall use the premises solely for residential purposes and shall comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
  5. Maintenance and Repair: Tenant shall maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary condition. Additionally, tenant shall promptly notify Landlord of any needed repairs.
  6. Alterations: Tenant shall not make any alterations to the premises without the prior written consent of Landlord.
  7. Assignment and Subletting: Tenant shall not assign this Agreement or sublet the premises without the prior written consent of Landlord.
  8. Default: Tenant shall be in default of this Agreement if they fail to pay rent when due, breach any other term of this Agreement, or violate any applicable law, rule, or regulation.
  9. Termination: Landlord may terminate this Agreement in the event of Tenant’s default, or for any other reason permitted by law.
  10. Entire Agreement: This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes all prior negotiations, understandings, and agreements.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this Lease Agreement as of the date first written above.

[Landlord’s Signature] _______________________________

[Tenant’s Signature] _______________________________

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