A lease is a legally binding contract requiring the tenant to pay the property’s owner for usage of an asset. Vehicles, buildings and real estate are typical assets which are leased. Business or industrial equipment is often leased as well. Generally speaking, a lease agreement is basically a legal contract between two parties: the lessee and the owner.
During the term of the lease agreement, the tenant usually pays a monthly rental fee to the landlord. Usually, this fee includes a security deposit which is taken by the landlord when the tenancy ends; in exchange for this fee, the tenant is liable to the landlord for the return of this deposit, together with interest and additional rent due on the due date. The amount due will be the responsibility of both the landlord and the tenant.
Another important part of a lease agreement is the terms of rent and deposit. Since it is legally binding, the landlord must enforce the terms of the contract. Usually, the landlord increases the rent on the due date unless the tenant can agree on reducing the rent. Alternatively, if the tenant fails to pay the additional rent, the landlord has the right to repossess the apartment. Both parties have the right to settle any disputes through mediation before entering into a Lease Purchase Agreement.
Why We Need A Lease Agreement
The major reason why a lease agreement should be legally binding is because it limits the power of the landlord. Landlords, unlike renters, have full legal authority over the property they own. So, the power to decide who will stay and who will move out rests solely with the landlord. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the tenants do not understand the contractual nature of the lease agreement.
There are many instances where tenants are pushed into a lease agreement without fully understanding it. Many landlords try to force the issue by threatening to leave the rental property if the conditions laid out by the agreement are not met. This is illegal in many states. Another ploy many landlords use is to increase the rent drastically. This can be devastating to the finances of struggling tenants.
Many people are of the view that lease agreements are just like any other kinds of contracts. They believe that it is sufficient to have the provisions outlined in the document. In fact, it can be just the opposite. Some residential leases have provisions that can affect the entire daily life of a tenant, restricting their freedom. The best way to avoid these restrictions is to seek expert legal advice to help you understand your residential lease agreements.
Apart from the obvious limitations, there are also provisions that tenants cannot be expected to know about. For example, many residential properties stipulate that tenants do not need to pay for any alterations to the property. Such clauses are usually used to prevent tenants making extra modifications on their own. Yet, this could result in huge fines. It is advisable to seek professional advice to avoid such pitfalls.
The landlord is legally bound to disclose certain important information to the tenant in the lease agreement. Such information includes the amount of rent and other expenses related to the property. Sometimes, it is only the Landlord who is unaware of some vital details that the tenants should know. Hence, it is wise to ask the assistance of a lawyer to investigate any aspect that is unclear to you.
Lease agreements have provisions to protect both the Landlord and the Tenant. A good lease agreement will protect both the parties from any kind of losses that could occur. The Landlord must never resort to discrimination, unfair practices or harassment by the Tenants. As a result, the Landlord is under no legal obligation to do anything that is contrary to the wishes of the tenants. Any breach by the landlord can be taken by the Tenants as a case of discrimination.
However, in the recent times, there has been an increase in cases of eviction of tenants. Most of these cases are related to rent disagreements. Since most of these instances are based on financial matters, it is advised to seek legal advice from a competent lawyer.
He or she can advise you as to whether your lease agreement may contain an eviction clause or not. If yes, then you may wish to include such a provision in the rental agreement. An expert can also assist you to draft a reasonable lease agreement that ensures the rights of both the landlord and the tenant are protected.