Landlord and Tenant Law: What Is A Lease?
In simplest terms, under landlord and tenant law a lease is a contract between a landlord and a tenant which outlines the term agreements that allow a person to reside in a particular piece of property. The tenant agrees to pay the landlord a set amount of money, also known as rent, on a monthly basis for the right to occupy the premises.
Most leases will outline certain provision regarding the different responsibilities and rights of both the landlord and the tenant. Once a lease agreement has been signed by both a landlord and a tenant, the relationship between them is called a tenancy. The right to occupy a rental unit is sometimes referred to as a leasehold interest. Each lease can be for a specified amount of time which is referred to as the term of the lease.
Landlord and tenant law says that people who own property are allowed by law to do what they choose to with their property including rent it out to a tenant for a specified period of time. Once an owner has chosen to do this, he or she is not permitted to interfere in the quiet enjoyment of the tenant’s unit. This means that they are not permitted to enter the unit any time they please. They must always ask the tenant’s permission in writing at least 24 hours in advance. The only time they are permitted to breach this rule is in the event of any emergency.
Landlord and tenant law states that leases are legal contracts and are enforceable as such. Most leases contain the names of all the parties involved: tenant(s) and landlord, the start and end date of the rental, the address of the rental unit being leased, any provisions for renewal of the lease, the amount of rent being charged and the date of the month on which it is due. If the landlord is charging a security deposit, that information must also be contained within the lease as well. Any clauses with regard to pets on the property must also be stated in a lease.
A fixed-term tenancy lease can last for as many years as the landlord and tenant are willing to sign off on. The fixed-term tenancy expires when the time runs out. It can be renewed if both parties so desire but only if both parties are in agreement.
Some people have leases that are known as periodic tenancy leases. These are leases which are set for a period of time which is determined by payment of rent. Oral leases can not be entered into for a period of more than twelve months.
A landlord or a tenant may terminate a periodic tenancy lease when the term is nearing an end. In order to do this, the party must serve notice to the other party. A tenant may not terminate a periodic tenancy during the term of the lease without being required to pay rent for the amount of time that is still left on the lease.
In cases of a breach of the lease, the landlord may choose to sue the tenant for the amount of rent owed. There are many law firms which specialize in landlord and tenant law and a tenant may decide to hire one to represent him or her if they are being sued by their former landlord.