Chapter 27. Landlord/Tenants Relations

I. Lease: a contract or an agreement between landlord and tenant that describes exclusive rights to use of real property. legal dwellings

Lessor – landlord

Lessee – tenant

Tenancy: the right to occupy real property for a purpose. The “interest” in real property.

Types of Tenancy –

  1. Tenancy for years – (businesses) right to occupy property for a fixed period of time (Ex. 1 year or 10 years) *primarily used for commercial rentals* Up to 99 year lease maximum (Law of Adverse Possession). All lease agreements must be in writing
  2. Periodic Tenancy – (apartments) tenancy that automadically renews itself (Ex. month to month). Period of time is not fixed. Can be week to week, quarterly to quarterly (every 3 months), usually month to month.
  3. Tenancy at Will – no written contract/ lease agreement. Usually a relative who lives with you. Must follow 30-day notification laws.
  4. Tenancy at Sufferance – when a tenant wrongfully remains in possession of real property. “HOLDOVER TENANT” – Sheriff’s Eviction 90-Days

The Lease Agreement “Covenants of a lease”

  • General Covenants – address, parties, when it’s being paid/cost, etc.
  • Decoration and repairs – whose responsible for what
  • Assignment – the transfer of rights. assigning the lease. (most common in commercial tenancy for years contract)
  • Subletting – right to occupy someone else’s property (Ex: you own an apartment but are deployed to Iraq. your cousin can stay at the house for the amount of time that you’re gone)
  • Security Deposit
  • Destruction by Fire – if there is destruction by fire, the lease agreement is terminated
  • Termination of a lease – specify legal notice for how many days you have left before you have to leave

Breach of a lease agreement

  • the termination of a lease agreement by one party based on failing to pay a rent or failing to provide services

Remedies to a breach of lease

  • landlord – eviction 90-days served by the Sheriff (as long as the tenancy has failed to pay)
  • tenant – breach the “warranty of habitability” (doesn’t provide hot water, heat, electric, utlities, etc) constructive eviction – if you can prove that the landlord has deprived you.

Covenant-promises, agreements, conditions/terms.

1. General Covenants- place/adress, rent amount, date due, parties.

2. Decorations and Repairs- landlord is not responsible for decorations. Landlord is responsible for all repairs.

Landlord must obey by “warranty of habitability”.

-tenant has a legal right to basic servicves such as hot water, heat, electricity.

-excessive wear and tear to a dwelling by a tenant is called waste.

3. Assignment and Subletting-

Assignment- take over lease agreement for the remaining time.

Subletting- take over a specific period of time.

4. Security Deposit- the amount of money required in order to start the lease and to be used forany damages upon lease determination.

5. Destruction by fire- if your dwelling is burned down

6. Determination of the lease-how,when, and by whom. 30 day written notice. Any arrangements for repairs.

7. Breach of lease- eviction and constructive eviction. legal process for the landlord to remove a tennat through the sheriff’s office. tennant must serve eviction. 90 days to either pay the rent or get out.


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