New York and New Jersey residents who have rented for many years may understand the basics of their leases such as the length of the lease and the amount of rent they owe each month. However, there are many aspects of leases that they may not completely understand. There are also many aspects that should be in leases that they may not have in their current leases.
Elements of a lease
The lease is the contract between the landlord and the tenant and both are bound by its terms. While every lease will state the length of the lease and the amount of rent, it also states other obligations of both the landlord and tenant during the tenancy.
It will state who is responsible for various parts of the building. The lease should also be clear about the termination process and how much advance notice is required to terminate the lease for both the landlord and tenant.
Usually neither party to the lease can change the terms of the lease, unless both agree in writing, until the lease term ends.
There are also certain aspects that are inherent in every lease under the law even if the lease says something different. Landlords will always be responsible for their negligence that causes property damage or injuries to their tenants.
Landlords also have a duty to maintain the premises so that it is habitable for the tenants. If the landlord does not abide by the housing code, the tenants may be able to withhold rent until the repairs are made to make the premises habitable again.
It is important that tenants understand their leases prior to signing them. For the most part, after they sign the lease, they are bound by the terms of the lease for the duration of the lease. That is why having a well-written lease is important.