The Purpose of a Lease for Houses & Apartments

by Mary Jane ; Updated July 27, 2017
A lease is written to protect both the landlord and the tenant.

A written lease is often written by the landlord who owns the house or apartment being rented. The lease outlines the requirements that must be met by the tenant. This includes the monthly payment of rent, treatment and cleanliness of the premises and the rules regarding furnished appliances and furniture. The landlord may have specific reasons for having a lease, which could be legal or personal.

Legal Requirements

Each state in the United States has a set of residential rental and lease regulations that must be followed. The governing jurisdiction of the area where the house or apartment is located has a set of rules that must be followed and respected in each rental scenario. A lease may be constructed and written based on the legal requirements of the given area. The landlord could be faced with legal action if these requirements are not respected in the house or apartment lease.

Establish Guidelines

The landlord may create a lease for a house or apartment for personal reasons. If the premises are furnished with appliances, furniture or other items to make the living arrangements cheaper for the tenant, the landlord may outline specific rules regarding these items. This can include no pets and no smoking. Rules about parking spaces, rental payments and notices for moving out should also be included.

Protect the Tenant

A rental agreement for a given house or apartment is also written to protect the rights of the tenant. The tenant is protected under the rental agreement in terms of rent increases, property damage and maintenance and insurance or property taxes for which the landlord may be responsible. The tenant can use the rental contract in a legal setting should the landlord break the terms and conditions of the signed lease.

Protect the Landlord

The landlord can also write the lease for his own protection against the tenants. He may not know the tenants who are moving in or be familiar with their lifestyle or treatment of a furnished apartment or house. They may end up being a disturbance to nearby residents. The lease protects the landlord due to the terms and regulations outlined in the second section of this article. If the tenant breaks any of the regulations or guidelines outlined in the lease, the landlord can take legal action against the tenant for breaking a legal rental lease. These offenses can include smoking on the premises, subletting to other people and being a disturbance to other residents in the apartment building.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Photo Credits

  • Studying lease agreement image by Elzbieta Sekowska from Fotolia.com