Renters are bound either by an oral or written agreement.
Written agreements are more common and better protect the tenant and the landlord. When a lease is signed by both parties, it becomes a binding legal contract. If any party does not fulfill the terms of the lease, the person who defaults can be sued, this can be expensive. A tenant is not excused from honoring a lease simply because he does not understand or did not read it.
When considering a written lease agreement, tenants should :
Read the entire contract and ask questions or obtain a legal opinion about unclear provisions.
Ask for changes. If tenants dislike certain provisions in the lease, they have the right to ask landlords to amend the lease with written changes. However if a landlord refuses, which he has a right to do, a tenant must decide whether to sign the lease. If changes are made, both the tenant and landlord should initial the changes.
Do not rely on verbal statements. All promises and agreements should be in writing for your protection.
BASIC LEASE PROVISIONS
At a minimum the lease should include :
Before renting, tenants might get other questions answered or address them in the lease :
An oral agreement obligates the landlord and tenant for only one month. A landlord can evict the tenant or raise rent with only one months notice if the tenant has lived in the property for less than one year and sixty days notice if tenant has lived in property for one year or more. Likewise, the tenant can give notice to vacate on one months notice. (One months notice means a full calendar month, and must include a full rental period. For example: If your rent is due on the third day of the month, your rental period runs from the third of the month to the third of the following month.)The tenant or landlord must give written notice to terminate the tenancy. Oral notice from either party to the other is not valid.
LANDLORD CAN END LEASE.
A landlord can end a lease :
You can find the state statutes at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.php see Chapters 1925 through 1997 which address landlord tenant issues.
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