The laws governing the rights of landlords and tenants have become complicated as laws and regulations have expanded through the years. Landlord tenant disputes are common in small claims courts. Landlords have more responsibilities and tenants have more rights, so it is essential to have a clear rental or lease agreement in place that spells out exactly the rights of both parties.
Some landlords choose to just have a verbal agreement with their tenant instead of completing a written contract, but this can get messy if there are any disputes amongst the two parties. Verbal agreements are legally binding, but if either party disputes the agreement it can be hard to prove what the agreement was in court. A written agreement will provide a clear guideline for all parties involved. There are differences between a rental and lease agreement, and choosing the one that is most appropriate for the situation will help make the process easier.
Rental Agreements: A rental agreement establishes a shorter rental. A month-to-month agreement is typical and will be renewed every month until one of the parties gives notice. Notice is usually about 30 days. Either party can give notice at any time for any reason as long as they follow the notice guidelines set forth in the rental agreement.
Lease Agreements: A Lease agreement obligates both parties to a set period of time. Year leases are typical and can be renewed at the end of the term or new stipulations can be set in place. Any terms to be changed have to be done after the lease runs out unless there is a clause that states terms can be changed. With a lease agreement a landlord typically cannot ask a tenant to leave unless they fail to pay rent or another important aspect of the contract has been violated.
Pros and Cons: Each type of agreement has its pros and cons. With a lease agreement the landlord is tied to their tenants until the end of the contract. If the landlord has personal issues with the tenant they can’t just ask them to leave with 30 days notice. Rental agreements are more short term, and they give both the landlord and the tenant flexibility to find other arrangements. This means that the turn over is much higher with rental agreements and it could be hard to find a long-term renter.
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