5 Musts of Every Lease or Rental Agreement

Learn the 5 things that every lease must contain. Without these items your lease or rental agreement will be missing important elements which could cause your problems in the future including possible lawsuits.


Including the names of your tenants seems obvious but many landlords only include the name of one tenant. Rather than single out one tenant, make sure every tenant signs the lease or has their own lease which they're required to sign.

Occupancy Expectations?

Spell out occupancy expectations in writing. If you only allow two tenants per unit then let the tenants know that they cannot invite others to move in. Also if you do not allow pets then this must also be stated in the lease.

Financial Expectations?

Not only should you state how much rent will be but you should include any security deposits and other deposits, you need to state if the tenant is responsible for their own utilities and additional expenses.

Term of Tenancy

Is your lease a rental agreement or a fixed term lease? Rental agreements are a month to month agreement and tend to self renew. Fixed term leases typically last a year and then are renewed or terminated. This needs to be clear to all parties.

Access to Property

Most states or local areas have laws about when a landlord can enter a tenant's apartment and how much notice must be given. This should be stated in the lease, but you should also include information on emergency entrance or notice necessary to make repairs or perform routine maintenance.?

By including these five points in your lease you're protecting yourself from some problems in the future or legal actions against you. These are by no means the only information that is necessary in your rental contract but it's a great starting point.

Kristin Kizer
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