USLegal Newsletter June 2018 – So you signed a rental property lease agreement, now what?

According to researchers, almost 30 percent of Americans rent apartments or homes. In fact, there are more than 43 million rental properties in the United States today. With so many individuals occupying rental units, legal issue often arise. Among the most common are disputes over rental payments, pets, repairs and maintenance, security deposit, and breach of lease agreements.

Landlord-tenant law regulates the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. While state laws primarily govern such relations, federal laws also cover aspects of residential and commercial rentals and leases.

Landlord-tenant laws vary from state-to-state.  However, many states have based their laws on either the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) or the Model Residential Landlord-Tenant Code.  Thus, most state laws share some general principles of landlord-tenant law.  Contract law and property law which are common among states govern the relationships between landlords and tenants.  A landlord rents or leases residential or commercial property to a tenant and the parties will usually sign a contract detailing the rental or lease terms.  The contract will include the duration of the rental or lease as well as the amount of rental or lease payments due.  When a landlord and tenant may not have signed a written lease, an oral agreement or the actions of the parties will determine the terms of the tenancy.

Go Inside Landlord-Tenant Law

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Legal Definitions

Leases Security Deposit Law

The security deposit consists of any money which the landlord holds on behalf of the tenant to protect himself from unpaid rent or damage to the apartment. State laws, which vary by state, govern security deposits. The tenant may not defeat the purpose of the deposit by using it as the last month’s rent. In most circumstances, security deposits are refundable. The landlord should inform the tenant in advance about the conditions under which he or she will refund your deposit. More

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