Signing a Lease or Rental Agreement FAQ
Learn about the laws that cover security deposits, rent increases, and late fees.
Who Should Sign a Lease or Rental Agreement
Landlords typically want all adults who will live in the rental unit to sign the lease or rental agreement.
Negotiating With the Landlord
Your lease or rental agreement is probably loaded with clauses written to maximize the landlord’s rights and minimize yours.
Common Negotiation Issues
This section discusses some common issues you may be able to negotiate—pets, guests, home businesses, and roommates.
Get It in Writing: A Letter of Understanding
There’s a way to nail down an oral understanding that lawyers use all the time. It’s called a “letter of understanding.”
Key Terms in Option-to-Purchase Agreements
Make sure your lease-option agreement is clear on important details, such as how and when the purchase price of the house is determined.
The Basics of Rent-to-Own Agreements
Learn whether a lease-to-own or lease-option agreement is a good choice for tenants who want to buy the home they rent.
Typical Provisions in Leases and Rental Agreements
Key terms you can expect to see in a lease or rental agreement.
How Written Leases and Rental Agreements Differ
The key differences between leases and rental agreements
How to Sublet a Rental Unit
What to do if you want to sublet your apartment or rental house.
Sample Sublet Agreement
Sublet agreements should be in writing and signed by landlord, tenant, and subtenant.
Sample Tenant-Subletter Agreement
Tenants should spell out terms of their sublet agreement with subtenants.
Sample Tenant Letter Requesting Landlord Permission to Sublet
Get your landlord’s written okay before subletting your rental unit.
Tenants: How to Make Airbnb Work for You and Your Landlord
Tips for tenants who want to rent all or part of their apartment on Airbnb or similar short-term rental sites.
How to: Airbnb in New York City
What NYC tenants and landlords need to know about Airbnb and short-term rentals.
Why Won't the Landlord Let Our Daughter Add Dad to the Lease?
The manager insists that the tenant must have an income three times the rental amount.
Can Our New Duplex Owner Change Our Tenancy Rules?
What are the rules for letting the tenants know that the contract will be changed?
Can I Be Held Responsible for Other Tenants' Damage to the Common Area?
How can I control the behavior of people in other apartments?
Can My Landlord Prohibit Smoking If the Lease Doesn't?
I pay rent on time. What are my rights?
Is It Legal for My Landlord to Start Prohibiting Dogs?
Is there any legal recourse for this situation?
Can I Transfer My Lease to a New Tenant?
Isn't there something like assuming a lease whereby I pass all financial responsibility to the assumer of the lease and I am free to go?
What If Our Landlord Tricked Us into Paying the Neighbor's Utilities?
Can landlords garnish wages without going to small claims court?
My Dog's Gotten Too Large for the Lease -- Now What?
How do eviction laws work? Is there any way we can break our lease?
What Types of Lease Clauses Are Illegal in California?
Be on the lookout for these illegal terms in your California lease or rental agreement.
Does My California Landlord Need to Give Me a Copy of the Lease in Spanish?
Learn whether a landlord in California must provide a copy of your lease in a foreign language.
Breaking a Lease and Leaving Early
Landlords must take reasonable steps to rerent the place if you break a lease (you won't always be on the hook for rent for the remainder of the lease term).
Changing Your Tenancy Without Ending It
How the landlord may (or may not) make changes during your month-to-month tenancy or lease
How Month-to-Month Tenancies End
A month-to-month tenancy renews (sometimes termed “rolls over”) every 30 days.
Sample Letter to Landlord Suggesting Potential Tenants
Try to find replacement tenants if you need to break your lease.
Required Landlord Disclosures
Find out what disclosures you can expect to see in your lease or rental agreement or in another written communication from your landlord.
Pets Caught in Foreclosure -- Landlords Can Help
Landlords can help foreclosed-upon families by accepting tenants with pets -- it's good for business if you follow some simple steps to protect yourself.
Smart Landlord Policies for Pet-Friendly Rentals
A pet agreement can reduce a landlord's risks in a pet-friendly building. Here's what to include in the agreement.