Rental vs Lease Agreement?

by Cierylene Piernes

Posted on 2019-05-08 13:14:51

agreement 3.jpgThe lease or rental agreement is the key document of the tenancy, setting out important issues such as:

-the length of the tenancy, start or end date may be indicated
-the amount of rent and deposits the tenant must pay
-the number of people who can live on the rental property
-who pays for utilities

-who’s responsible in maintaining the lawn/garden
-whether the tenant may have pets
-whether the tenant may sublet the property
-the landlord's access to the rental property, and

-who pays attorney's fees if there is a lawsuit concerning the meaning or implementation of the lease or rental agreement


In other term, it sets out all the terms and conditions of the lease or rent between tenant and landlord, where both agrees to abide. Most of the time it is a must to be in written form as it is easier to document in case there are any disputes or misalign information.


A written rental agreement is used for tenancy for a short period (often 30 days) that is automatically renewed at the end of the period unless the as is tenant or landlord ends it by giving proper written notice. For these month-to-month rentals, the landlord can change the terms of the agreement with proper written notice.

A written lease, on the other hand, gives a renter the right to occupy a rental unit for a set term -- often for a longer period of time (i.e. six months or a year but sometimes longer) -- as long as the tenant is in good faith, pays the rent and complies with other lease provisions. The landlord cannot raise the rent or change other terms of the tenancy during the lease, unless the tenant agrees.

Unlike a rental agreement, when a lease expires it does not usually automatically renew itself. A tenant who stays on with the landlord's consent after a lease ends becomes a month-to-month tenant, subject to the rental terms that were in the lease.