Is It Necessary to Have a Printed Rental Agreement?


Quick Answer

While it is not a requirement to obtain a printed rental agreement, it is useful to retain a copy in the event of a dispute over the terms of the agreement between the tenant and landlord. In many cases, provisions on a rental agreement may be present in the preceding lease form, if one exists.

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Full Answer

While it is possible to create a rental agreement verbally, having a written copy of the agreement provides both parties proof of the terms and prevents either from lying about it. Written rental agreements typically include the cost of rental, requirements to pay additional fees, such as utility bills, and the exact areas to which the tenant has access.

A rental agreement is a type of contract between two parties that specifies the terms of occupancy for a short period of time, usually on a month-to-month basis. At the end of this period, the landlord has the right to alter the terms as she sees fit, such as raising the rent or placing other requirements. This stands in contrast to a lease agreement, which outlines a set period of time in which the tenant may occupy a property and a fixed price for the rent. If a landlord wishes to change the terms of a rental agreement, she must provide the tenant a written notice of the changes.

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