What Is A House Lease?
If you are curious regarding the question, “What is a House Lease?” then a more detailed explanation is appropriate. A real estate lease is a legal document that specifies the terms of a rental of a piece of property. This type of legal document spells out the terms of the lease such as the amount of payment required when it is due, and the ramifications if it is late or goes unpaid.
The document will also specify the amount of time including the start and ending date. It could be a series of years, or it could be just one month. Most rental leases are for a year at a time, and they can be renewable, with possibly a new amount of monthly lease or rental payments.
A rental agreement differs somewhat from a lease in that the period of occupancy will be for a shorter period. Although it’s not advisable, a short term rental agreement may be oral. And it can be renewed automatically unless the landlord or the tenant gives a written notice. It must be understood that either party can change the terms of the agreement with proper prior written notice.
On the other hand, a house lease must be in writing and usually written for a minimum of a year. Either party cannot change the terms unless the other party agrees. Any subsequent changes must be in writing and made a part of the original document. A lease has a definite termination date and does not renew itself. An exception would be if a condition to do so would be stipulated in the agreement.
Most leases contain a provision regarding utilities. A common practice is for the Tenant to pay gas and electric. However, many times the water and trash bill is combined with the owners tax bill. If this is the situation, the owner may pay for water and trash. Keep in mind that anything can be negotiated.
It is also common practice with a rental to have the Tenant responsible for lawn care, but not always. Landscaping and lawn care are common negotiating points to determine which party handles it. The Owner usually assumes responsibility for maintenance of all appliances including heating and air conditioning. The landlord as a general rule handles major repairs and upkeep.
If the lease were not in writing, then anyone could say anything about what the original intent was regarding terms and conditions. It could boil down to the argument of who has the best memory when it originally came to setting down the terms of the agreement, and much of the time the details will get lost in the argument.
Please don’t be too concerned about our form regarding the words "Rental" vs "Lease". You merely replace the term with one or the other, whichever, applies to your situation. Also, within the body of the form, you will adjust the period for whatever is applicable for you.