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What Is a Residential Lease Agreement?

A Lease Agreement, also known as a rental lease agreement, tenancy agreement, or rental contract:

  • Allows a tenant to rent a residential property in exchange for regular payments to a landlord
  • Describes the rights and obligations of both a landlord and a tenant during the rental term
  • Sets expectations around fees and payments, property use, maintenance, and home improvements
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Person wanting details

What Is Residential Rental Property?

Residential rental property is property that earns income
for its owner from rental payments made by a tenant.

Types of rental properties include:

  • House
  • Condo
  • Apartment
  • Duplex
  • Townhouse
  • Basement suite
  • Room
  • Mobile home
  • Vacation rental property

What Information Is Included in a Lease Agreement?

A Residential Lease Agreement includes essential details such as:

  • Landlord and tenant information
  • The length of the rental contract
  • The amount and frequency of rent and amount for a
    security deposit
  • Additional costs, including utilities
  • Property details: parking, storage, and other amenities
  • Provisions for smoking, pets, and home businesses
  • Options to renew the lease, to sublet, and to purchase the
    rental property
  • Rules for late payments, entering the property, and lease terminations
Two houses
Person ripping up a contract

Can a Landlord or Tenant Break a Lease?

To end a lease early:

  • If you're a landlord, you can use a Notice to Quit if your tenant has failed to pay rent or violated other terms in the rental agreement.
  • If you're a tenant, you can use a Termination Notice if your landlord has violated landlord-tenant laws or terms in the rental agreement.

Does a Lease Agreement Last for a Fixed Period of Time?

You can offer a fixed-term or an automatic renewal Lease Agreement:

  • A fixed-term lease ends on a set date, usually six months to
    one year
  • An automatic renewal lease has no set end date and renews automatically until either the landlord or tenant chooses to terminate the lease
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What Other Rental Forms Does a Landlord Need?

As a landlord, you may also find the following forms useful:

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