Lease Agreement 101 – Part 3
Following up on our previous posts on tenants lease agreements and tenant lease provisions, we want to explore the tenant lease agreement in greater detail. There are numerous lease provisions which landlords, particularly new landlords aren’t fully aware of.
Understanding the tenant lease agreement is critical because it is a legally binding document. If any parties are not able to comply with the agreed terms, it can lead to a legal proceeding and result in eviction. In this article, we continue to look into other key tenancy lease terms, landlords need to understand:
In most circumstances, landlord does not provide insurance for tenant’s personal property. They are also not liable to tenant or their guests for any losses or damages arising from any causes such as theft, fire, water intrusion, earthquake etc.
Thus, tenant is often encouraged to obtain their own renter’s insurance to reimburse for losses or damages of covered personal property. For instance, if a fire occurred in a rental unit and caused by the tenant’s negligence, the landlord or other affected parties may file a claim against the tenant. And hopefully they’re prrotected by the renter’s insurance policy if it has a sufficient liability coverage. After reading this, you may want to consider buying landlords insurance.
Unit Remodeling and Alternations
Without landlord’s permission, tenants are not allowed to remodel or alternate the rental unit including painting. If the rental unit was damaged due to fire or other casualties and requires significant repairs, the landlord can either repair the damage or give notice to tenant and terminate the lease agreement.
Thus, it is not uncommon for landlord to include “significant repairs” and “duty to cooperate” provisions in lease agreement to assure the failure to vacate the unit and cooperate with landlord to conduct repairs or renovations is a material breach of the lease agreement.
While tenant is obligated to comply with House Rules, additional restrictions may apply such as tenant agrees not to harass, create nuisance, or interrupt quiet enjoyment of their neighbors. Verbally abusinge or disrespecting landlord, his or her employees, agents, contractors or interfering with the management’s operation could also be considered a misconduct which might result in a lease violation.
Sublease or Assignment
Landlord usually disallows tenant to sublease or assign the entire or any portion of the tenant rental lease to anyone. If a tenant attempts to sublease or assign the lease, the lease should be considered null and void.
Entry by Landlord
Landlord has the right to enter the rental unit with a reasonable advance notice to tenant. A 24-hour written notice is considered reasonable. Normally, a landlord enters the renter’s unit to perform agreed repairs, annual unit inspection, pest control services, or show the unit to prospective renters. For emergency matters, landlord may enter the unit without serving advance notice.
Even though this is not your first time entering into a lease agreement, you should not assume you are experienced enough to understand lease agreement because each landlord may set extra restrictions in addition to some of the basic lease terms as required by applicable laws. Therefore, you should take time to read before you sign the lease agreement.
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