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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Residential Lease?A Residential Lease is a legally binding contract between a Landlord and tenant. The Lease gives a tenant the right to use and enjoy the described residential property in exchange for money. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the Landlord and Tenant during the tenancy.

Governments have enacted laws to protect tenants by ensuring them a minimum set of rights. A Residential Lease cannot take away these basic rights.
When should I use a residential lease?A written lease should be used whenever property is being rented out. The lease reduces the potential for disputes by stating the responsibilities of both the Tenant and Landlord.

LawDepot's Residential Lease was researched and prepared by lawyers to ensure its legal accuracy and our proprietary software makes it easy for you to customize the lease to your situation.
What is a basement suite and how does this differ from renting a room?A basement suite is a self-contained dwelling unit with its own kitchen, bathroom, and living area. They often feature a private entrance to the house for the Tenant.

Renting a room, on the other hand, means the Tenant will likely share part of the accommodations with the Landlord or other tenants. The kitchen, bathroom, and house entrance are common examples of shared space.
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Residential Lease Agreement

THIS LEASE (the "Lease") dated this 30th day of March, 2015



(the "Landlord")


- AND-


(the "Tenant")


IN CONSIDERATION OF the Landlord leasing certain premises to the Tenant, the Tenant leasing those premises from the Landlord and the mutual benefits and obligations provided in this Lease, the receipt and sufficiency of which consideration is hereby acknowledged, the parties to this Lease agree as follows:

  1. Leased Property
  2. The Landlord agrees to rent to the Tenant the house, municipally described as ______________________, ______________________, Virginia  __________ (the "Property"), for use as residential premises only.  Neither the Property nor any part of the Property will be used at any time during the term of this Lease by Tenant for the purpose of carrying on any business, profession, or trade of any kind, or for the purpose other than as a private single-family residence.
  3. No guests of the Tenants may occupy the Property for longer than one week without the prior written consent of the Landlord.
  4. No pets or animals are allowed to be kept in or about the Property without the prior written permission of the Landlord. Upon thirty (30) days notice, the Landlord may revoke any consent previously given pursuant to this clause.
  5. Subject to the provisions of this Lease, the Tenant is entitled to the use of parking (the "Parking") on or about the Property. Only properly insured motor vehicles may be parked in the Tenant's space.
  6. The Tenant agrees and acknowledges that the Property has been designated as a smoke-free living environment. The Tenant and members of Tenant's household will not smoke anywhere in the Property nor permit any guests or visitors to smoke in the Property.
  7. The Property is provided to the Tenant without any furnishings.
  8. Term
  9. The term of the Lease commences at 12:00 noon on March 30, 2015 and ends at 12:00 noon on March 30, 2015.
  10. Rent
  11. Subject to the provisions of this Lease, the rent for the Property is $0.00 per month (the "Rent").  
  12. The Tenant will pay the Rent on or before the ____________________ of each and every month of the term of this Lease to the Landlord at ______________________, ______________, VA __________ or at such other place as the Landlord may later designate.
  13. Quiet Enjoyment
  14. The Landlord covenants that on paying the Rent and performing the covenants contained in this Lease, the Tenant will peacefully and quietly have, hold, and enjoy the Property for the agreed term.
  15. Tenant Improvements
  16. The Tenant will obtain written permission from the Landlord before doing any of the following:
    1. applying adhesive materials, or inserting nails or hooks in walls or ceilings other than two small picture hooks per wall;
    2. painting, wallpapering, redecorating or in any way significantly altering the appearance of the Property;
    3. removing or adding walls, or performing any structural alterations;
    4. installing a waterbed(s);
    5. changing the amount of heat or power normally used on the Property as well as installing additional electrical wiring or heating units;
    6. placing or exposing or allowing to be placed or exposed anywhere inside or outside the Property any placard, notice or sign for advertising or any other purpose; or
    7. affixing to or erecting upon or near the Property any radio or TV antenna or tower.
  17. Insurance
  18. The Tenant is hereby advised and understands that the personal property of the Tenant is not insured by the Landlord for either damage or loss, and the Landlord assumes no liability for any such loss. The Tenant is advised that, if insurance coverage is desired by the Tenant, the Tenant should inquire of Tenant's insurance agent regarding a renter's policy of insurance.
  19. Abandonment
  20. If at any time during the term of this Lease, the Tenant abandons the Property or any part of the Property, the Landlord may, at its option, enter the Property by any means without being liable for any prosecution for such entering, and without becoming liable to the Tenant for damages or for any payment of any kind whatever, and may, at the Landlord's discretion, as agent for the Tenant, rent the Property, or any part of the Property, for the whole or any part of the then unexpired term, and may receive and collect all rent payable by virtue of such renting, and, at the Landlord's option, hold the Tenant liable for any difference between the Rent that would have been payable under this Lease during the balance of the unexpired term, if this Lease had continued in force, and the net rent for such period realized by the Landlord by means of the renting. If the Landlord's right of re-entry is exercised following abandonment of the Property by the Tenant, then the Landlord may consider any personal property belonging to the Tenant and left on the Property to also have been abandoned, in which case the Landlord may dispose of all such personal property in any manner the Landlord will deem proper and is relieved of all liability for doing so.
  21. Attorney Fees
  22. In the event that any action is filed in relation to this Lease, the unsuccessful party in the action will pay to the successful party, in addition to all the sums that either party may be called on to pay a reasonable sum for the successful party's attorney fees.
  23. Governing Law
  24. It is the intention of the parties to this Lease that the tenancy created by this Lease and the performance under this Lease, and all suits and special proceedings under this Lease, be construed in accordance with and governed, to the exclusion of the law of any other forum, by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without regard to the jurisdiction in which any action or special proceeding may be instituted.
  25. Severability
  26. If there is a conflict between any provision of this Lease and the applicable legislation of the Commonwealth of Virginia (the "Act"), the Act will prevail and such provisions of the Lease will be amended or deleted as necessary in order to comply with the Act. Further, any provisions that are required by the Act are incorporated into this Lease.
  27. In the event that any of the provisions of this Lease will be held to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, those provisions to the extent enforceable and all other provisions will nevertheless continue to be valid and enforceable as though the invalid or unenforceable parts had not been included in this Lease and the remaining provisions had been executed by both parties subsequent to the expungement of the invalid provision.
  28. Amendment of Lease
  29. Any amendment or modification of this Lease or additional obligation assumed by either party in connection with this Lease will only be binding if evidenced in writing signed by each party or an authorized representative of each party.
  30. Assignment and Subletting
  31. The Tenant will not assign this Lease, or sublet or grant any concession or license to use the Property or any part of the Property. Any assignment, subletting, concession, or license, whether by operation of law or otherwise, will be void and will, at Landlord's option, terminate this Lease.
  32. Damage to Property
  33. If the Property, or any part of the Property, will be partially damaged by fire or other casualty not due to the Tenant's negligence or willful act or that of the Tenant's employee, family, agent, or visitor, the Property will be promptly repaired by the Landlord and there will be an abatement of Rent corresponding with the time during which, and the extent to which, the Property may have been untenantable. However, if the Property should be damaged other than by the Tenant's negligence or willful act or that of the Tenant's employee, family, agent, or visitor and the Landlord decides not to rebuild or repair the Property, the Landlord may end this Lease by giving appropriate notice.
  34. Care and Use of Property
  35. The Tenant will promptly notify the Landlord of any damage, or of any situation that may significantly interfere with the normal use of the Property or to any furnishings supplied by the Landlord.
  36. The Tenant will not make (or allow to be made) any noise or nuisance which, in the reasonable opinion of the Landlord, disturbs the comfort or convenience of other tenants.
  37. The Tenant will keep the Property reasonably clean.
  38. The Tenant will dispose of its trash in a timely, tidy, proper and sanitary manner.
  39. The Tenant will not engage in any illegal trade or activity on or about the Property.
  40. The Landlord and Tenant will comply with standards of health, sanitation, fire, housing and safety as required by law.
  41. The Landlord will use reasonable efforts to maintain the Property in such a condition as to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold, and to promptly respond to any written notices from the Tenant in relations to accumulation of moisture and visible evidence of mold.
  42. The Tenant will use reasonable efforts to maintain the Property in such a condition as to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold, and to promptly notify the Landlord in writing of any moisture accumulation that occurs or of any visible evidence of mold discovered by the Tenant.
  43. The Tenant agrees that no signs will be placed or painting done on or about the Property by the Tenant or at the Tenant's direction without the prior, express, and written consent of the Landlord. Notwithstanding the above provision, the Tenant may place election signs on the Property during the appropriate time periods.
  44. If the Tenant is absent from the Property and the Property is unoccupied for a period of four consecutive days or longer, the Tenant will arrange for regular inspection by a competent person. The Landlord will be notified in advance as to the name, address and phone number of the person doing the inspections.
  45. The hallways, passages and stairs of the building in which the Property is situated will be used for no purpose other than going to and from the Property and the Tenant will not in any way encumber those areas with boxes, furniture or other material or place or leave rubbish in those areas and other areas used in common with any other tenant.
  46. Footwear which are soiled or wet should be removed at the entrance to the building in which the Property is located and taken into the Tenant's Property.
  47. At the expiration of the term of this Lease, the Tenant will quit and surrender the Property in as good a state and condition as they were at the commencement of this Lease, reasonable use and wear and tear excepted.
  48. Carbon Monoxide Alarm
  49. Prior to the Tenant taking possession of the Property, the Landlord will ensure that any carbon monoxide alarm in place is operational. Upon possession, the Landlord will provide the Tenant with working batteries, for all carbon monoxide alarms. The Landlord will be responsible for the repair and replacement of any missing or nonfunctional carbon monoxide alarm upon written request of the Tenant.
  50. The Tenant will keep, test, and maintain in good repair all the carbon monoxide alarms in the Property. The Tenant must provide the Landlord or the Landlord’s agent with a written notice if any carbon monoxide alarm needs its batteries replaced or if the alarm is stolen, removed, missing , or not operational. Further, the Tenant must notify the Landlord, or its agent, in writing of any deficiency in any carbon monoxide alarm that the Tenant is unable to fix.
  51. No person may remove any batteries from, or in any way render inoperable, a carbon monoxide alarm except as part of the process to inspect, maintain, repair or replace the alarm or batteries in the alarm.
  52. Hazardous Materials
  53. The Tenant will not keep or have on the Property any article or thing of a dangerous, flammable, or explosive character that might unreasonably increase the danger of fire on the Property or that might be considered hazardous by any responsible insurance company.
  54. Rules and Regulations
  55. The Tenant will obey all rules and regulations posted by the Landlord regarding the use and care of the building, parking lot, laundry room and other common facilities that are provided for the use of the Tenant in and around the building containing the Property.
  56. Lead Warning
  57. Housing built before 1978 may contain lead based paint. Lead from paint, paint chips, and dust can pose health hazards if not taken care of properly. Lead exposure is especially harmful to young children and pregnant women. Before renting pre-1978 housing, lessors must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint hazards in the dwelling.  Lessees must also receive a Federally approved pamphlet on lead poisoning prevention.
  58. Address for Notice
  59. For any matter relating to this tenancy, the Tenant may be contacted at the Property or through the phone number below.  After this tenancy has been terminated, the contact information of the Tenant is:
    1. Name: ___________________________.
    2. Phone:  _________________________.
    3. Post termination notice address: ______________________, ______________, VA  __________.
  60. For any matter relating to this tenancy, whether during or after this tenancy has been terminated, the Landlord's address for notice is:
    1. Name: _________________________.
    2. Address: ______________________, ______________, VA __________.

    The contact information for the Landlord is:

    1. Phone:  _________________________.
  61. General Provisions
  62. All monetary amounts stated or referred to in this Lease are based in the United States dollar.
  63. Any waiver by the Landlord of any failure by the Tenant to perform or observe the provisions of this Lease will not operate as a waiver of the Landlord's rights under this Lease in respect of any subsequent defaults, breaches or non-performance and will not defeat or affect in any way the Landlord's rights in respect of any subsequent default or breach.
  64. This Lease will extend to and be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the respective heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, as the case may be, of each party to this Lease. All covenants are to be construed as conditions of this Lease.
  65. All sums payable by the Tenant to the Landlord pursuant to any provision of this Lease will be deemed to be additional rent and will be recovered by the Landlord as rental arrears.
  66. Where there is more than one Tenant executing this Lease, all Tenants are jointly and severally liable for each other's acts, omissions and liabilities pursuant to this Lease.
  67. Locks may not be added or changed without the prior written agreement of both the Landlord and the Tenant, or unless the changes are made in compliance with the Act.
  68. The Tenant will be charged an additional amount of $25.00 for each N.S.F. check or checks returned by the Tenant's financial institution.
  69. Headings are inserted for the convenience of the parties only and are not to be considered when interpreting this Lease. Words in the singular mean and include the plural and vice versa. Words in the masculine mean and include the feminine and vice versa.
  70. This Lease and the Tenant's leasehold interest under this Lease are and will be subject, subordinate, and inferior to any liens or encumbrances now or hereafter placed on the Property by the Landlord, all advances made under any such liens or encumbrances, the interest payable on any such liens or encumbrances, and any and all renewals or extensions such liens or encumbrances.
  71. This Lease may be executed in counterparts. Facsimile signatures are binding and are considered to be original signatures.
  72. This Lease will constitute the entire agreement between the Landlord and the Tenant. Any prior understanding or representation of any kind preceding the date of this Lease will not be binding on either party except to the extent incorporated in this Lease.
  73. The Tenant will indemnify and save the Landlord, and the owner of the Property where different from the Landlord, harmless from all liabilities, fines, suits, claims, demands and actions of any kind or nature for which the Landlord will or may become liable or suffer by reason of any breach, violation or non-performance by the Tenant or by any person for whom the Tenant is responsible, of any covenant, term, or provisions hereof or by reason of any act, neglect or default on the part of the Tenant or other person for whom the Tenant is responsible. Such indemnification in respect of any such breach, violation or non-performance, damage to property, injury or death occurring during the term of the Lease will survive the termination of the Lease, notwithstanding anything in this Lease to the contrary.
  74. The Tenant agrees that the Landlord will not be liable or responsible in any way for any personal injury or death that may be suffered or sustained by the Tenant or by any person for whom the Tenant is responsible who may be on the Property of the Landlord or for any loss of or damage or injury to any property, including cars and contents thereof belonging to the Tenant or to any other person for whom the Tenant is responsible.
  75. The Tenant is responsible for any person or persons who are upon or occupying the Property or any other part of the Landlord's premises at the request of the Tenant, either express or implied, whether for the purposes of visiting the Tenant, making deliveries, repairs or attending upon the Property for any other reason. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Tenant is responsible for all members of the Tenant's family, guests, servants, tradesmen, repairmen, employees, agents, invitees or other similar persons.
  76. During the last 30 days of this Lease, the Landlord or the Landlord's agents will have the privilege of displaying the usual 'For Sale' or 'For Rent' or 'Vacancy' signs on the Property.
  77. Time is of the essence in this Lease.  Every calendar day except Saturday, Sunday or U.S. national holidays will be deemed a business day and all relevant time periods in this Lease will be calculated in business days. Performance will be due the next business day, if any deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a national holiday. A business day ends at five p.m. local time in the time zone in which the Property is situated.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF ___________________________ and _________________________ have duly affixed their signatures on this 30th day of March, 2015.

Tenant: ___________________________

Landlord: _________________________

The Tenant acknowledges receiving a duplicate copy of this Lease signed by the Tenant and the Landlord on the _____ day of ______________________, 20____.

Tenant: ___________________________


Mold Disclosure

Property: ______________________, ______________________, Virginia  __________
Landlord: _________________________
Tenant: ___________________________

Landlord's Mold Disclosure

MOLD DISCLOSURE: There are many types of mold. Inhabitable properties are not, and cannot be, constructed to exclude mold. Moisture is one of the most significant factors contributing to mold growth. Information about controlling mold growth may be available from your county extension agent or health department. Certain strains of mold may cause damage to property and may adversely affect the health of susceptible persons, including allergic reactions that may include skin, eye, nose, and throat irritation. Certain strains of mold may cause infections, particularly in individuals with suppressed immune systems. Some experts contend that certain strains of mold may cause serious and even life-threatening diseases. However, experts do not agree about the nature and extent of the health problems caused by mold or about the level of mold exposure that may cause health problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying the link between mold and serious health conditions. The seller, landlord, seller's agent, buyer's agent, or property manager cannot and does not represent or warrant the absence of mold. It is the buyer's or tenant's obligation to determine whether a mold problem is present. To do so, the buyer or tenant should hire a qualified inspector and make any contract to purchase, rent, or lease contingent upon the results of that inspection. A seller, landlord, seller's agent, buyer's agent, or property manager who provides this mold disclosure statement, provides for the disclosure of any prior testing and any subsequent mitigation or treatment for mold, and discloses any knowledge of mold is not liable in any action based on the presence of or propensity for mold in a building that is subject to any contract to purchase, rent, or lease.

Date: 30th day of March, 2015

Landlord: _________________________

Tenant's Disclosure

The Tenant ACKNOWLEDGES receipt of the information contained in the above Landlord's Mold Disclosure.

Date: 30th day of March, 2015

Tenant: ___________________________

Residential Lease Information

Alternate Names:

A Residential Lease is sometimes called a:

  • Tenancy Agreement
  • Rental Lease Agreement
  • Lease Form
  • Rental Contract

What is a Residential Lease?

A Residential Lease agreement is a form that both the tenant(s) and landlord(s) negotiate and sign when the tenant will be renting property from the landlord. The Lease includes property, tenant, and landlord details.

The Lease also covers:

  • the term or length of the contract (fixed or periodic);
  • the amount and frequency of rent;
  • whether there can be rent increases;
  • if tenants are allowed to smoke, have pets, or a home business
  • the amount of security/damage deposit, charges for late payments, additional charges (such as utilities);
  • the maintenance and insurance obligations;
  • any signing incentives;
  • the guest rules;
  • an option to purchase;
  • an option to renew; and more.

Both the tenant and the landlord should keep a copy of the signed agreement for their records.

What You Can Use This Lease For

You can use this Rental Contract for any type of residential property rental, including:

  • House
  • Apartment
  • Condo
  • Mobile Home
  • Basement Suite
  • Duplex
  • Townhouse
  • Room
  • Other living spaces
  • Rent-to-own options

Who Needs a Lease Agreement?

When entering into any type of residential rental circumstance you should ensure that you have a valid contract to outline your rights and responsibilities as a landlord or a tenant. People who may find this form useful are:

  • Homeowners looking for tenants
  • Tenants looking for a home to rent
  • Landlords, property managers, and tenant placement services
  • Individuals renting residential property to family and/or friends
  • Tenants or landlords looking to rent a property with the option to buy

Rent-to-Own/Option to Purchase

A common form of a rent-to-own agreement is a rental contract with an option to purchase or option to buy. An option to purchase gives the tenant the option to buy the home for a certain price within a certain period of time.

This form of agreement is used where a landlord wishes to sell a home but the potential tenant either has a negative credit rating or can't save a large enough deposit for a lender-based mortgage.

The tenant(s) pay a non-refundable option fee and in return the landlord provides the renter an option to purchase the home at a predetermined price. If the tenant decides not to purchase the property, the landlord keeps the option fee or deposit.

Forms Related to a Residential Lease:

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