Instead, of relying on lawyers, who charge an arm and a leg to decode some legal clauses to be found in typical residential leases or rental agreements, it is important landlords and tenants alike, familiarize themselves with the definitions of a number of common words and phrases that arise in the context of a landlord-tenant relationship.
- The term ‘tenant improvements’, included in a lease or rental agreement indicates, whether a tenant is permitted to make improvements to his / her rental unit, and the extent to which such improvements will be permitted by a landlord.
- The term termination obliges a tenant to return his / her rental unit in the same condition it was given on rent, at the conclusion or termination of the rental lease or agreement.
- ‘Termination Date of Lease’ or ‘Lease Termination Date’ specifies the date the lease ends or terminates.
- ‘Lease Term’ or ‘Term of the Lease’ identifies the duration of the lease in months and years. It also states the date the tenant comes in legal possession of the rental property.
- ‘Use of Premises’ specifies any landlord restrictions on a tenant’s use of the premises.
- Warranty of Habitability means the landlord or owner of residential property is obligated to provide his / her tenant with rental accommodation that is reasonably fit for human occupation, including basic living conditions and timely repairs, if required. However, what is ‘reasonable’ in one area, is not necessarily so in another. Take for example, the failure of a California landlord to properly insulate pipes on his / her rental property, his / her failure to do so may not violate the warranty of habitability, but in the same instance, a Minnesotan landlord will be held liable, if failure to insulate his / her results in them freezing constantly during the cold weather.