The standard residential lease agreement is one of the most commonly used contracts between a landlord and a tenant. These agreements apply in a fixed tenure of the tenancy. The most commonly used lease tenure is one year.

The tenant and the property owner must agree to the terms of the standard lease agreement before it is signed. It is also important that the standard residential lease agreement abides by the statutes of the State which has jurisdiction over the property.

Below is a standard residential lease agreement template that you can use for creating such agreements. To know more about standard residential lease agreements and all that they may contain, keep reading:

What Is a Standard Residential Lease Agreement?

The standard residential lease agreement is the most common tenancy arrangement for renting of residential properties. The person who is renting the property is known as the tenant.

A standard residential lease agreement formalizes the terms of the tenancy between the tenant and the property owner, with a fixed period of the tenancy. Most standard residential lease agreements use a time period of one year.

These agreements are highly customizable, which works for the benefit of the property owner and the tenant. The standard residential lease agreement details the responsibilities of the landlord towards the tenant and vice versa.

A standard residential lease agreement has some alternative names as well, which include:

What is included in a Standard Residential Lease Agreement?

The components of a standard residential lease agreement include:

Identification of Parties

The standard residential lease agreement shall include the names of the property owner as well as the tenant. In the case of multiple tenants, the agreement should list each one of them.

Description of the Property

The address of the property shall be provided. If only a part of the property is being rented (such as a room or a floor), the agreement should state so.

Description of Rent

Description of rent includes the amount of rent, the due date for the rent, provision of a grace period if the rent is late, and the late charges. The mode of payment of the rent may be mentioned as well.

Termination

A standard residential lease agreement may include a clause describing the event if either party wishes to terminate the agreement prior to its expiration.

Security Deposits

If there is an advance security deposit paid by the tenant to the landlord, the standard residential lease agreement should mention it.

Utilities

If the landlord is providing any utilities to the tenant, the agreement shall mention so. If the landlord is charging for these utilities, the charges need to be stated as well.

Maintenance

The maintenance clause should state which party bears the responsibility of any repairs needed in the property.

Rules and Regulations

If there are any housing restrictions in the property, such as pet policies, drinking, and smoking, noise restrictions, etc., the standard residential lease agreement should state so.

There can be additional clauses in the agreement based on the particular requirement of the tenant and the landlord.

When to Use a Standard Residential Lease Agreement?

You might need a standard residential lease agreement if:

  • You are a residential property owner renting your premises (or a part of it) to a new tenant
  • You are a renter shifting to a new housing
  • You are a real estate agent acting as a broker between a tenant and a property owner

A standard residential lease agreement is the most commonly used lease agreement because it provides security to the property owner as well as the tenant.

It assures the tenant that they can rent the property for the required time along with any maintenance, repairs, and utilities that the agreement includes. It also protects the tenant from eviction during the lease period.

For the landlord, a standard residential lease agreement provides financial security as they get the rent for their property for the entire lease tenure. The standard residential lease agreement also states the details of the rent along with its due date.

How to Negotiate a Standard Residential Lease?

Generally, the landlord provides a standard residential lease agreement to the tenant. This leaves room for negotiation towards the tenant’s end. Most tenants believe that they have an obligation to sign the lease right away.

However, lease agreements can be modified before signing them based on what either party (which includes the tenant) requires. A standard residential lease agreement comes into affect only when both the parties agree to the terms of the lease.

Here are some tips for renters to negotiate in a standard residential lease agreement:

Rental Amount

The rental amount is the most negotiated element in a standard residential lease agreement. A landlord might be charging more than what the property’s rent is worth.

Therefore, the tenant must research the neighborhood and make negotiations on the rent based on the average rent in that area.

Lease tenure

While most standard residential lease agreements last for 12 months, it is not set in stone. Either party can negotiate on increasing or decreasing the length of the lease.

Landlords insist on longer lease tenures, but the tenant can negotiate for a shorter lease while increasing rent or providing something else in return.

Pets

The standard residential lease agreement may have a clause about no pets in the premises. In this case, the tenant may negotiate on removing this restriction for something else in return (such as an increase in rent or a one-time pet fee).

Modification to the Premises

Tenants can negotiate about the modifications in the premises that they are allowed to make, such as repainting the walls based on the color of the tenant’s choice.

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Endnotes

Standard residential lease agreements are not difficult to create. However, they should be well-written to be valid in a court and abide by the local laws as well.

If you are in need of a standard residential lease agreement, the best way to proceed is by downloading a standard residential lease agreement template from CocoSign. These are attorney-drafted templates to provide conflict resolution to either party. You can even edit these templates to suit your needs.

Go ahead and browse through the templates available at CocoSign. CocoSign has done all the hard work for you.

Disclaimer

CocoSign represents a wide collection of legal templates covering all types of leases, contracts and agreements for personal and commercial use. All legal templates available on CocoSign shall not be considered as attorney-client advice. Meanwhile, CocoSign shall not be responsible for the examination or evaluation of reviews, recommendations, services, etc. posted by parties other than CocoSign itself on its platform.