Key Differences Between Leases and Rental Agreements

Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation has helped clients understand their lease and rental agreements and obligations. Both leases and rental agreements are legal contracts that establish the terms of tenancy, but the primary difference between the two is the length of tenancy.


Before we go any further, it is important to explain the meaning of the word “term.” In a lease, rental agreement, or any other type of contract, “term” is used in two different ways:


To delineate rules or conditions. For example, if the agreement says, “The terms of the lease (or rental) include $600 rent due on the 1st day of every month, no pets, and no painting the wall or any other surface of the rental unit.” This means that you must pay this rent, you cannot have a pet in the unit, and you cannot apply paint to any surface of the unit. If you do not abide by these things, you will have broken (or “breached”) the agreement, and the landlord may be entitled to give you termination notice.


As a way to describe the length (months or years) of the agreement. For example, the agreement might say, “The term of the lease is one year from date of signed contract.” This means that you must pay the rent and abide by the property rules for one year and you’ll get to live there for that time.


Rental Agreements

Rental agreements are usually shorter tenancy period, usually one month. And the landlord can change the rental agreement with proper written notice at any time. A month-to-month rental agreement automatically rolls over each month unless the tenant or landlord give notice to end the agreement.



Leases are much more rigid and usually last for a longer period of tenancy. You and your landlord are bound by the original terms of the lease agreement until the lease ends. Your landlord cannot raise the rent, change other terms, or force you to move out unless you breach an important term of the lease such as not paying rent or violating property laws. At the end of the tenancy, you or your landlord may decline to renew or negotiate new terms or sign with the same term. If the tenancy is renewed, the lease can turn into a month-to-month rental agreement.


For more questions or concerns about landlord-tenant disputes, click here or contact Eviction Group, A Professional Law Corporation at (800) 985-9885 to speak with an experienced attorney.



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