Free Apartment Lease (Residential Lease Agreement)

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Free Apartment Lease (Residential Lease Agreement)

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Apartment Lease (Residential Lease Agreement)


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THIS LEASE (the "Lease") dated this ________ day of ________________, ________



(the "Landlord")

- AND-


(the "Tenant")

(individually the “Party” and collectively the “Parties”)

IN CONSIDERATION OF the Landlord leasing certain premises to the Tenant and other valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which consideration is hereby acknowledged, the Parties agree as follows:

  1. Leased Property
  2. The Landlord agrees to rent to the Tenant the house, municipally described as __________ (the "Property"), for use as residential premises only.  
  3. Subject to the provisions of this Lease, apart from the Tenant, no other persons will live in the Property without the prior written permission of the Landlord.
  4. No guests of the Tenants may occupy the Property for longer than one week without the prior written consent of the Landlord.
  5. No animals are allowed to be kept in or about the Property.
  6. Parking space is not provided under the terms of this Lease and no vehicle may park on or about the Property.
  7. The Tenant and members of the Tenant's household will not smoke anywhere in the Property nor permit any guests or visitors to smoke in the Property.
  8. The Tenant and members of the Tenant's household will not vape anywhere in the Property nor permit any guests or visitors to vape in the Property.
  9. Term
  10. The term of the Lease commences at 12:00 noon on February 22, 2024 and ends at 12:00 noon on February 22, 2024.
  11. Rent
  12. Subject to the provisions of this Lease, the rent for the Property is $___________ per month (the "Rent").
  13. The Tenant will pay the Rent on or before the first (1st) day of each and every month of the term of this Lease to the Landlord at __________ or at such other place as the Landlord may later designate by cash or check.
  14. The Landlord may increase the Rent for the Property upon providing to the Tenant the greater of __________ day's notice and any notice required by the Act.
  15. Inspections
  16. The Parties will complete, sign and date an inspection report at the beginning and at the end of this tenancy.
  17. Tenant Improvements
  18. 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.
  19. Utilities and Other Charges
  20. The Tenant is responsible for the payment of all utilities in relation to the Property.
  21. Insurance
  22. 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.
  23. The Tenant is not responsible for insuring the Landlord's contents and furnishings in or about the Property for either damage or loss, and the Tenant assumes no liability for any such loss.
  24. Attorney Fees
  25. 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.
  26. Governing Law
  27. This Lease will be construed in accordance with and exclusively governed by the laws of the State of Minnesota.
  28. Severability
  29. If there is a conflict between any provision of this Lease and 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.
  30. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provisions of this Lease will not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Lease.  Such other provisions remain in full force and effect.
  31. Amendment of Lease
  32. This Lease may only be amended or modified by a written document executed by the Parties.
  33. Assignment and Subletting
  34. Without the prior, express, and written consent of the Landlord, 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. A consent by the Landlord to one assignment, subletting, concession, or license will not be deemed to be a consent to any subsequent assignment, subletting, concession, or license. Any assignment, subletting, concession, or license without the prior written consent of the Landlord, or an assignment or subletting by operation of law, will be void and will, at the Landlord's option, terminate this Lease.
  35. Damage to Property
  36. 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.
  37. Care and Use of Property
  38. 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.
  39. The Tenant will not engage in any illegal trade or activity on or about the Property.
  40. The Parties will comply with standards of health, sanitation, fire, housing and safety as required by law.
  41. The Parties will use reasonable efforts to maintain the Property in such a condition as to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold. The Tenant will promptly notify the Landlord in writing of any moisture accumulation that occurs or of any visible evidence of mold discovered by the Tenant. The Landlord will promptly respond to any such written notices from the Tenant.
  42. If the Tenant is absent from the Property and the Property is unoccupied for a period of 4 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Rules and Regulations
  45. The Tenant will obey all rules and regulations of the Landlord regarding the Property.
  46. Address for Notice
  47. For any matter relating to this tenancy, the Tenant may be contacted at the Property or through the phone number below:
    1. Name: _________________________
    2. Phone:  _________________________
  48. 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: __________

      The contact information for the Landlord is:

    3. Phone:  _________________________
  49. General Provisions
  50. All monetary amounts stated or referred to in this Lease are based in the United States dollar.
  51. 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.
  52. 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. All covenants are to be construed as conditions of this Lease.
  53. 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.
  54. 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.
  55. Locks may not be added or changed without the prior written agreement of both Parties, or unless the changes are made in compliance with the Act.
  56. The Tenant will be charged an additional amount of $__________ for each N.S.F. check or checks returned by the Tenant's financial institution.
  57. 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.
  58. This Lease may be executed in counterparts. Facsimile signatures are binding and are considered to be original signatures.
  59. This Lease constitutes the entire agreement between the Parties.
  60. 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.
  61. Time is of the essence in this Lease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF _________________________ and _________________________ have duly affixed their signatures on this ________ day of ________________, ________.





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



Last updated December 21, 2023

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What is a lease?

A lease is a contract a landlord and tenant use to outline their rights and responsibilities when the tenant rents residential or commercial property from the landlord.

What is a Residential Lease Agreement?

A Residential Lease Agreement is a lease specific to residential rental properties that outlines the terms and conditions of a tenancy, including the landlord's and tenant's rights and obligations. You can use it when renting apartments, houses, condos, duplexes, townhouses, and more.

A Residential Lease Agreement is also known as a/an:

  • Lease agreement
  • Rental agreement
  • Rental lease agreement
  • Rental contract
  • Apartment lease
  • House rental agreement
  • Lease form
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Rent-to-own lease agreement

Residential Lease Agreements are governed by municipal, state-specific, and federal landlord-tenant laws.

Looking for a Residential Lease Agreement in Spanish?

Use our Contrato de Arrendamiento de Vivienda.

Is a lease the same as a rental agreement?

In the United States, there isn't a legal difference between a lease and a rental agreement.

A lease and a rental agreement are legal contracts between tenants and their landlords. They contain the same information and can be used for the same rental situations.

Some individuals may associate the term "lease" with tenancies that last for more extended periods, such as twelve months, and "rental agreement" with tenancies that last for shorter periods, such as one month.

Who needs a Residential Lease Agreement?

Any person renting residential property to or from someone else needs a Residential Lease Agreement. For example, the following individuals or organizations will find this document useful:

  • Homeowners looking for a temporary tenant
  • Individuals who own a rental property
  • Tenants moving into a new place
  • Property managers and tenant placement services
  • Landlords renting a home to family or friends
  • Individuals who want to rent with an option to purchase

Why do I need a Residential Lease Agreement?

A properly executed lease protects you whether you're a landlord or a tenant. Additionally, in some circumstances, a written agreement may be required by law.

When you and the other party rely on a verbal agreement, you may remember the original details of the arrangement differently and disagree about each of your rights and obligations.

For example, without a document to reference, the following situations could arise between a landlord and tenant:

  • The parties could have different expectations regarding a lease's end date or renewal terms.
  • A landlord could try to keep a tenant's security deposit as no agreement outlines the terms of returning the deposit.
  • A landlord could unfairly impose a rent increase even if they told the tenant they wouldn't.
  • A tenant could suddenly move out, leaving the landlord with unexpected financial loss.
  • A tenant could fail to pay some or all of the rental amount and the landlord would have difficulty proving the tenant's exact obligation.
  • A landlord could simply provide a tenant with an Eviction Notice and ask them to move out ahead of their original verbal agreement.

The best way to lower risk and prevent disputes is by creating a Residential Lease Agreement so you have a written document that you can reference.

Can I write my own lease agreement?

Yes, you can create your own lease agreement without the assistance of a lawyer or other professional. By completing our simple questionnaire, you will produce an enforceable lease that is crafted to your state's laws.

How do I create a Residential Lease Agreement?

Once you find a suitable renter, use our Residential Lease Agreement template to create a standard or comprehensive agreement. Both the tenant and the landlord should keep a copy of the signed agreement for their records.

Standard lease agreement

With a standard lease agreement, you must provide:

  • Contact information for the landlord and tenant
  • Property details, such as the address, square footage, and amenities
  • Lease specifics, such as the type of lease and length of the term
  • Rent payment details, such as the amount, frequency, and late penalties
  • Security deposit information, such as the amount and state-specific rules for returning the deposit
  • Rights and obligations for the landlord and tenant
  • Other details, such as dispute resolution methods, signing incentives for the tenant, and options to purchase the property or renew the lease

Comprehensive lease agreement

With a comprehensive lease agreement, you are also able to:

  • Specify if the property is furnished or not and provide a description of furnishings
  • Identify a property manager who will look after the property on the landlord's behalf
  • Allow a tenant to operate a home business on the premise
  • Require a pet deposit or fee
  • Appoint a guarantor to cover the financial obligations if the tenant defaults on rent

Should my lease end on a set date?

Depending on your situation, you may want a lease to end on a specific date or automatically renew after a certain amount of time. These options are known as fixed-term and periodic leases. Both types of leases carry their own advantages and disadvantages.

Fixed-Term Lease

A fixed-term lease has a predetermined end date. This type of lease specifies the start and end dates of the lease. Sometimes, a fixed-term lease can automatically convert into a periodic one at the end of the term. Alternatively, a landlord and tenant can create and sign a new lease with updated dates and information at the end of a lease term, or the tenant can move out. Generally, fixed-term leases are more rigid and require more commitment from both parties.

Periodic or Month-to-Month Lease

A periodic lease does not have a set end date and automatically renews after a certain duration. The most common example of a periodic lease is month-to-month. With this type of lease, the tenancy remains until either the landlord or tenant provides the other with appropriate notice signifying they want the lease to end. Periodic leases provide landlords and tenants with more flexibility to end tenancies as needed.

Do I need a Residential Lease Agreement to rent a room in my house?

If you are renting out a room in your home, as opposed to an entire unit, it's still essential that you create a Residential Lease Agreement with your tenant to outline their obligations.

When you and your tenant are going to share some living space, you must discuss boundaries and expectations at the start of the tenancy, such as when a landlord can legally enter the tenant's space, what house rules are in place, and more.

What is a rent-to-own lease agreement?

Rent-to-own, sometimes called option to purchase or lease-to-own, is when a tenant has the opportunity to purchase the rental property from their landlord.

For this type of arrangement, a renter pays a non-refundable option fee and in return, the landlord provides the renter with an option to purchase the home at a predetermined price. The landlord keeps the option fee if the tenant decides not to purchase the property.

A tenant may have the option to purchase if their landlord wishes to sell a home or unit, but the tenant does not qualify for a lender-based mortgage because of a poor credit score or an inability to pay the full deposit amount.

Our Residential Lease Agreement template allows you to include an option to purchase.

Related Documents:

  • Rental Application: Collect information to screen potential tenants for a rental property.
  • Residential Sublease Agreement: Rent out a portion or all of the property you're renting to another tenant for a certain period of time.
  • Rental Inspection Report: Inspect your rental property before a tenant moves in and after they move out to assess any damages.
  • Eviction and Lease Notices: Notify your tenant with landlord notices such as Eviction Notice, Notice of Lease Violation, Notice of Termination, Demand for Compliance or Possession, and Notice to Pay Rent.
  • Rent Increase Notice: Inform tenants about a change in rent charges and fulfill your obligation to provide an appropriate notice period.
  • Rent Receipt: Stay organized by creating a record of your tenant's rent payments.
  • Commercial Lease Agreement: Lease a commercial space to a business tenant by outlining both of your rights, duties, and responsibilities.

Related Articles:

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Residential Lease Agreement

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