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Leasing Property

There are some pros and cons for both landlords and tenants when leasing property.

A lease agreement is a contract between a tenant and a landlord that legally obligates both parties for usage of a property by the tenant in return for an agreed upon amount of fixed payments for a set time, usually for a year and in some cases, longer.

With a fixed term lease, the amount of the rent and other terms in the agreement can't be changed until the lease ends unless future exceptions or specific changes are agreed upon in writing before the lease is signed.

A lease offers long term security for the landlord, but it may become a problem if the landlord decides he wants the tenant to move. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, under a lease agreement, the landlord cannot ask a tenant to vacate the property or convince a court to order an eviction before the lease expires. The exceptions include:

  • Failure to pay rent as agreed
  • The breaking of laws or ordinances
  • Violating the terms of the lease
  • Damaging the property
  • Selling drugs on the property
  • Being unruly or making to much noise

Which is better, a long term lease or a month to month rental agreement. There are some definite pros and cons.

In certain ways, a lease is good because it saves a landlord the hassle of regularly looking for tenants, constantly cleaning and showing the unit, running credit and employment verifications, advertising, and possible having one period of vacancy after another.

For a tenant, a lease gives a certain peace of mind knowing that the property is theirs to occupy for a long time. There is also comfort knowing that the rent is set at a particular price and more than anything else, it depends on the circumstances a tenant is in when they need a place to live or work.

A landlord may want a month to month agreement because of the flexibility it offers. It gives a landlord the option to raise the rent if he wants and give a short notice to vacate without giving a specific reason. If a property owner decides to sell the property, a long term lease may scare away possible buyers.

For the tenant, a month to month rental agreement gives them the option of giving a short notice to the landlord to move and not be locked in a long term contract that is enforceable in court. If a tenant breaks a lease, he may be sued and have to pay the rent for the remainder of months left on the contract even though he does not occupy the property.

In any case, most leases and month to month rental agreements contain standard sets of provisions and clauses that are similar in language and legal definition.

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