FAQ: What should a lease contain?

Authored By: Georgia Legal Services Program® LSC Funded

FAQ: What should a lease contain?

     What should a lease contain?                      

The lease is a contract. Unless the lease contains legal provisions, a court will require the
landlord and tenant to do what the language of the lease provides. The answer to most landlord-tenant questions can be found in the language of the lease between the parties. A comprehensive lease should include the following:

* Names of the tenant, the landlord or the landlord's agent, and the person or company
authorized to manage the property;

* A description of the rental unit, identifying the appliances included in the unit and the
heat and cooling sources. If it is a house, a description of the property;

* The time period for which the property is rented and the date the lease ends;

* The amount of rent and the date it is due, including any grace period, late charges, or
return check charges;

* How rent is to be delivered to the landlord and whether payment may be made
by check, money order, or cash;

* How to terminate the agreement prior to the expiration date and what, if any,
charges will be imposed;

* The amount of the security deposit;

* Utilities furnished by the landlord and, if the landlord charges for such utilities, how the
utility charge will be calculated;

* Amenities and facilities on the premises which the tenant is entitled to use such as
swimming pool, laundry, or security systems;

* Rules and regulations such as pet rules, noise rules, and whether or not breaking such
rules can be grounds for eviction;

* Identification of parking available, including designated parking spaces, if provided;

* Pest control, if provided, and how often;

* How tenant repair requests are handled and procedures for emergency requests; and

* Under what circumstances the landlord can enter the property and with what notice to
the tenant.

Last Review and Update: Jul 21, 2011