the difference between a rental agreement and a lease?
difference is the period of occupancy. A written rental
agreement provides for a tenancy of a short period (often
30 days). The tenancy is automatically renewed at the end
of this period unless the tenant or landlord ends it by
giving written notice, typically 60 days. For these month-to-month
rentals, the landlord can change the terms of the agreement
with proper written notice, subject to any rent control
laws. This notice is usually 60 days, but can be shorter
in some states if the rent is paid weekly or bi-weekly,
or if the landlord and tenant agree.
A written lease,
on the other hand, gives a tenant the right to occupy a
rental unit for a set term -- most often for six months
or a year but sometimes longer -- if the tenant pays the
rent and complies with other lease provisions. Unlike a
rental agreement, when a lease expires it does not usually
automatically renew itself. A tenant who stays on with the
landlord's consent will generally be considered a month-to-month
tenant, subject to the rental terms (such as a no pets clause)
that were in the lease.
with a fixed-term lease, the landlord cannot raise the rent
or change other terms of the tenancy during the lease, unless
the changes are specifically provided for in the lease,
or the tenant agrees.