The printable residential lease provided here is a good guide to use for the simple rental of a residential property, though it is provided for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice. Legal requirements for leases vary significantly from one state to another, so you should consult with an attorney licensed in your state before entering into any legal transaction or preparing any legal instrument.
Residential Lease Template
This printable residential lease provided here is easy to edit to meet your specific needs. To use the form, click on the image below to open the PDF template in a separate window where you can click to fill-in the fields and edit the text. Be sure to save the document to your hard drive. If you have issues working in the template file, please see this guide for using printable Adobe forms.
Navigating the Printable Residential Lease
There is quite a bit of information that you will need to fill-in on the residential lease before you use it. Be sure you completely understand each section of the document since it will become legally binding when executed.
In the first section, which is the Preamble, fill in the date and the party information. The Landlord is the person leasing the property to the Tenant, and the Tenant is the person renting the property from the Landlord.
If either of the parties is a legal entity (corporation, limited liability company, partnership, etc.), as opposed to an individual, check the official organizational records of the legal entity with the Secretary of State in the state of the entity's formation. That information will tell you who is authorized to sign the Residential Lease on behalf of the legal entity.
Leased Premises and Term
In the Leased Premises and Term section, fill in the address of the Leased Premises. Next, fill in the term of the Residential Lease in months and the beginning and ending dates of the agreement.
In the Rent section, fill in the amount of the monthly rent to be paid by the Tenant to the Landlord, and the date each month when the rent needs to be paid. Next fill in an address where the rent is to be paid.
Advance Rent and Security Deposit
In the Advance Rent and Security Deposit section, fill in the amounts the last month's advance rent, the security deposit and any pet security deposit. Most security deposits are equal to one (1) month's rent and pet security deposits are usually a few hundred dollars. If you are not collecting any of these items, leave this section blank.
Details must be added in several additional sections.
- Number of Occupants: In the Number of Occupants section, list the number of occupants that are allowed (adults and children).
- Animals: In the Animals section, list the animals that are allowed under the Residential Lease, if any. I
- Late Payments: In the Late Payments section, fill in the percentage late payment fee. A late charge of 4% to 5% percent is standard. The amount may be limited by state laws.
- Notices: In the Notices section, specify where notifications should be delivered to both the Landlord and the Tenant.
The Landlord and the Tenant should each sign the Residential Lease in front of two (2) witnesses, who also should sign the document.
Specific State Laws Govern Residential Leases
There are statutes and case law in every state that also govern the residential landlord/tenant relationship. This body of law can give landlords and tenants specific rights and obligations that are not contained in the lease and can sometimes override language in the lease.
The laws of the state where the real property which is the subject of the lease should always be consulted by the parties prior to entering into a lease. State statutes and case law relating to leases can be found easily online by searching the terms "name of the state" "statutes" and "residential landlord tenant."
State Specific Disclosures
In all states, there are specific disclosures that a residential landlord must make to a tenant, either in the lease itself, or by separate disclosure. Always check for any specific disclosure requirements in your state. These can include items like the following:
- Flood zone disclosure
- Radon Gas disclosure
- Foreclosure information
- Registered sex offender disclosure
Other Types of Leases
Income property can also be in the form of commercial property or farm land. Each of these types of income property requires a different form of lease because of the goals and complexities of each form of lease.
A commercial lease is generally very complex, and landlords should always consult an attorney to draft a commercial lease. Issues such as common area operating expenses, licenses and permitting, improvements/build-out and insurance requirement are all components of commercial leases that need to be drafted by professionals.
Farm land leases are also very specialized and require experienced legal drafting. There are many business points that need to be set forth in a farm land lease such as crop specifications, acreage parameters, conservation requirements and ancillary rights for usages such as fishing, hunting and forestry.
Enjoy Becoming a Landlord
Although consultation with an attorney is always best, this form of Residential Lease will give you a good start on drafting a lease that will serve you and your residential tenant well. It is vital that both parties to the transaction have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of the lease. Careful drafting of a lease can take the worry of leasing your residential property and can make becoming a landlord an enjoyable and profitable venture.