Leases, Why Are They Important And What Needs To Be Included?
Guest Blog: Jeff Kahane, Kahane Law Office
Before a landlord or tenant can rent out or occupy a house, a tenancy agreement (lease) must be agreed upon by both parties to outline the rules of the tenancy. This agreement can be either verbal or written (written is always better for evidence sake) and has numerous components that both the tenant and landlord must follow in order to ensure that the tenancy goes smoothly, with as little conflict as possible. First things first, you, as the landlord or the tenant, must know that within a lease there are two types of tenancies that can take place:
- Fixed Term Tenancy – meaning that it has both a start and an end date.
- Periodic Tenancy – this type has a start date but there is no end date to the tenancy, meaning that it could go on anywhere from a week to a year and can end at any time.
In addition to knowing what type of lease that you want, you should also know that they should include a few important things to ensure that you are not held liable, as well as that your property is treated with respect. Some examples of what should be included in a lease are:
- The amount, per month that rent costs;
- If utilities are included (i.e. water, electricity and gas);
- The terms of the security deposit, as well as the date it is due and the amount due;
- If appliances such as: dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines are included;
- Which party is responsible for maintenance of the house such as: changing light bulbs, replacing stained or damaged countertops etcetera;
- That inspections be carried out by the landlord one week before and one week after tenancy begins and ends;
- The rules and regulations laid out by landlord that the tenant must follow, however; it must not take away and rights laid out by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA);
- Must be signed and dated by both parties; and
- A waiver that releases the landlord from any liability for damage or loss of a tenant’s property.
Leases are a tricky business, as the smallest thing may be exploited if ever a situation were to come up such as:
- Illegal subletting,
- Unjust eviction, or
- A violation of RTA rights.
However, by following these basic principles of a lease, as outlined above, a tenancy agreement can aid you in avoiding issues whether small or big, saving you time and money. If a legal situation arises and you require advice or aid, our experienced real estate lawyers at Kahane Law Office can help. Learn more at www.kahanelaw.com. Also, feel free to contact us at info@Kahanelaw.com or call us at (403)-225-8810.