What Terms Are Usually Included in a Rental Agreement or Lease?

There is no universally standard rental agreement or lease, mainly because different states have different laws. As long as landlords and tenants adhere to these laws, they are free to set their own terms.

Nevertheless, rental agreements and leases usually contain the following elements:

  • The name of the landlord and all the tenants. Also include the information of the authorized manager of the rental property, if applicable.

  • The rental unit address

  • The exact rental amount

  • When the rent is due, to whom it is to be paid, where it is to be paid, and how it should be paid. In case the rent is to be paid to another person or entity, add the necessary information.

  • The amount and purpose of the security deposit

  • The amount of any late fees or bounced check fees

  • Pet policies

  • Legally required disclosures

  • The number of people allowed to live in the rental unit

  • Whether attorney’s fees can be collected from the losing party in the event of a lawsuit between you and the landlord

  • Who is responsible for paying utilities (gas, electric, water, and trash collection)

  • Who is responsible for taking care of the yard, if applicable

  • Any promises by the landlord to make repairs, including the date by which the repairs will be completed

  • Other items, such as whether you can sublet the rental unit and the conditions under which the landlord can inspect the rental unit