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What is the Difference Between a Lease and a Rental Agreement?

A written contract is the best way to cover things in a rental or lease agreement. Some things that may be included in an agreement include the duration of the rental, security and other deposits, and a payment schedule for the rental fees, as well as conditions on how many people are allowed to stay in the home. A written contract can explain what the expectations are for utility payments, pet policies, and landlord access.

There are many other uses for a rental agreement. A renter may be interested in establishing a rental property as a primary living space. Alternately, a renter may be looking for a temporary arrangement with more flexibility.

To cover various situations, there are infinite ways to draw up rental documents. Yet, these contracts usually take the form of either a lease or a rental agreement. However, these contracts have many important differences.

What is a Rental Agreement?

A rental agreement usually covers a rental term that lasts about a month. The agreement may be drawn up to automatically renew at the end of the term. The contract may state that the renewal will cease only upon written notice provided by either party.

Likewise, the landlord may change the terms of the month-to-month agreement at the time of any renewal as long as appropriate written notice is given.

What is a Lease?

A lease is different in many ways. Generally, a lease covers a period of six months to a year or more. With a lease, the renter may occupy the residence as long as they keep up with their end of the contract by paying the rent and adhering to all other requirements of the lease. 

The rent cannot be raised during the duration covered by the lease. This applies to other terms of the lease as well. The only way the rent or terms can be altered is if the landlord and tenant both agree to the changes.

Unlike rental agreements that automatically renew, a lease usually expires. If both the landlord and tenant agree, the terms of the lease can continue on a month-to-month basis.

How Can I Avoid Lease and Rental Agreement Disputes?

Sometimes, landlords and tenants run into issues with their contracts. Fortunately, this can be avoided by constructing a sound contract with a lawyer who is experienced in real estate litigation. Additionally, a lawyer can also answer a client’s questions regarding real estate issues.

Towson Real Estate Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Assist Clients with Rental and Lease Issues

Rental issues between tenants and landlords can be problematic if the agreement was not written. Before entering into a rental agreement or a lease, you should talk to one of our Towson real estate lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. We can draw up necessary paperwork to create a fair rental contract between both parties. If a disagreement should arise with an existing rental contract, our experienced attorneys can also help. Complete our online form or call us at 443-589-0150 for a free consultation. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we proudly serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County.

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