According to FindLaw, a standard lease agreement specifies tenant and landlord rights and obligations. Examples of items commonly found on standard lease agreements include a description of the rental unit, names of all parties in the agreement, the day the rent is due and the amount of the security deposit.
Even though rental agreements and leases do not have to be written to be legally binding, they are often easier to enforce when they are, notes FindLaw. Another reason it is better to have a written lease is so all parties involved understand their responsibilities as either tenant or landlord.
There are some clauses in standard leases that are considered unenforceable. According to FindLaw, examples of such clauses are the landlord being allowed to repossess the unit if the tenant falls behind on rent payments, allowing the landlord to enter the unit without notifying the tenant, and any agreements that state the tenant is responsible for paying for all damages to the unit without considering who is at fault. It is best that tenants completely read over their lease before signing it or agreeing to any of the terms. They might also need to turn to an experienced real estate attorney with experience in landlord tenant law if they ever need legal representation concerning their lease or the rental unit.