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All leases are contracts by which the landlord grants the tenant exclusive use of the premises in exchange for rent for a certain period of time. The laws governing residential leases differs widely with the law governing commercial leases. Nevertheless, most tenants and landlords prefer to deal with written leases. Tenants know their rent cannot be raised except as provided by the lease. Landlords know they will receive rent throughout the tenn. Landlords also like the fact that the lease will set out the rules and regulations for the premises, and will bind tenants to obey them. In addition, written leases usually provide for a late fee if rent is not paid on time (usually required to be reasonable in amount).

Security Deposit
Usually includes the equivalent of first and last month's rental. May also
include deposit for pet. Include the amount and whether, and to what extent, it is refundable.

Use of Premises
For use only as a single family residence. Usually, no business of any kind is allowed. A single family should be defined. Usually, this varies depending on the size of the unit. Finally, this provision should require compliance with all laws and regulations. (There may be a separate set of tenant bylaws distributed to every tenant.)

Condition of Premises

The "implied" warranty of habitability imposes a continuing obligation on the landlord to keep the property in decent condition: at a minimum standard of
safety and sanitation as defined by local codes. The landlord's failure to comply "substantially"
with this warranty can entitle the tenant to withhold or reduce the rent owed to the landlord, or
even to declare the lease terminated and move out.

Assignment & Subletting

Tenant cannot assign or sublet the unit without the express written permission of landlord. In addition, the tenant shall remain liable for payment of rent even following such assignment or subletting, unless expressly released by landlord.

Alterations & Improvements
Generally, not allowed without express permission of landlord. Also, in cases where such action is permitted, landlord should be able to approve the contractors and ensure no liens are attached and if any are so attached, receive written right to indemnification from tenant.


Tenant responsible for cost of repairs from damage done to premises as a result of tenant's negligence. landlord may require general liability insurance.


Tenant responsible for arranging and paying all utilities required.

Maintenance & Repairs

Tenant responsible for maintaining the premises in clean and sanitary condition at all times.


No animals other than those registered with landlord allowed. Pets generally
require additional deposit from tenant.

Right of Inspection & Access

landlord has right to inspect and maintain/repair premises with reasonable notice to tenant.

Holdover by Tenant

Usually, in cases where tenant does not move out following the expiration of the lease term, the landlord is permitted by law to (SEE lAW)


Following the expiration of the lease term, tenant promises to surrender the premises in a good state and condition, ordinary wear and tear excepted.

Option to Purchase

This gives tenant the option of buying the premises at any time during the lease term. Option is lost if tenant does not otherwise comply with terms of lease.
-- Exercise of Option - Tenant must give landlord 90 days written notice. Tenant required to pay a down payment and thereafter, landlord/owner will prepare standard contract of sale. Usually, if no other interested buyers, landlord will allow tenant to extend the option (for a price) in conjunction with an extension of the lease term.
-- Purchase Price - Self Explanatory
-- Credit Against Purchase Price - landlord may set aside some portion of rent paid to be
credited towards a down payment for the property. In addition, if tenant makes improvements to property, such improvements may also be credited towards the purchase price. -- Closing Date -Corresponds with expiration of lease.
-- Benefit of Tenant - The option may not be assigned or transferred without the express approval of landlord.

Default occurs when tenant fails to fulfill or abide by any obligation or term of the lease. Landlord may give tenant 5 days grace period on rent payments. Thereafter, landlord may give tenant 10 days written notice of default. Thereafter, landlord may terminate the lease and option, if any, and require tenant to pay unpaid rent and costs incurred by the landlord in curing the default.


Upon reasonable understanding by landlord that tenant has abandoned the property, landlord may enter premises and reclaim premises. landlord may also hold tenant liable for all costs and damages of such abandonment including unpaid rent and the difference between the rent that would have been payable under the lease for the unexpired term after abandonment. Also, landlord is not responsible for any personal property left on premises after such abandonment and may dispose of such property in any manner deemed proper by landlord.

Tenant is solely responsible for obtaining insurance on premises and personal property held within premises.

Liability & Indemnity

Tenant indemnifies landlord against any personal injury or loss of life to any person or damage to property which occurs on or around the premises.

Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation and Arbitration should always specify a location in landlord's jurisdiction (preferably, in the same county where they run their business). Mediation is
a non-binding way to settle the dispute quickly and amicably. If unable to settle in mediation,
arbitration is first option available. Arbitration is the preferred alternative to litigation because of speed, cost, and ability to maintain low profile (no info is publicly available).

No Modification or Waiver

No modifications except those specifically agreed upon by the parties in writing. Any waiver of a term or provision will not act as a waiver of any other provision.

Entire Agreement

This agreement constitutes the entire agreement of the parties and may be modified only in a writing executed by both parties.

- Notices should always list the current and best addresses where each party may contact
the other for whatever reason.


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Spiegel & Utrera, P.A. : Affordable Agreements. Custom-Fit Contracts.

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Our Office


1840 Coral Way
4th Floor
Miami, FL 33145
Toll Free: (800) 603 - 3900
(305) 854-6000
Fax: (305) 857-3700
Natalia Utrera, Esq.,
Managing Attorney

New York City

1 Maiden Lane
5th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Toll Free: (800) 576-1100
(212) 962-1000
Fax: (212) 964-5600
Nicolas Spigner, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Clifton, NJ

642 Broad St., Suite 1B
Clifton, NJ 07013
Toll Free: (888) 336-8400
(973) 473-2000
Fax: (973) 778-2900
Sandy A. Adelstein
Managing Attorney

Los Angeles

8939 S Sepulveda Blvd.
Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Toll Free: (888) 520-7800
(310) 258-9700
Fax: (310) 258-9400
Nicolas Spigner, Esq.
Managing Attorney


9 East Loockerman Street
Suite 202
Dover, DE 19901
Toll Free: (888) 641-3800
(302) 744-9800
Fax: (302) 674-2100
Courtney Riordan, Esq.
Managing Attorney

Las Vegas

2545 Chandler Avenue
Suite 4
Las Vegas, NV 89120
Toll Free: (888) 530 4500
(702) 364 2200
Fax: (702) 458 2100
Joel S. Beck, Esq.
Managing Attorney


Continental Office Plaza, Suite L12
2340 Des Plaines River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Toll Free: (888) 514-9800
(312) 443-1500
Fax: (312) 443-8900
Michael C. Welchko, Esq.
Managing Attorney

General Counsel Club®

Unlimited Legal & Business Advice
Toll Free: 1 (800) 734 - 9900
Fax: 1 (800) 520 - 7800
Natalia Utrera, Esq.,
Managing Attorney



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