What does a lease agreement say?

CBS News’ Robert Siegel has answers to your most frequently asked questions about leases.1.

What does the lease agreement state?

A lease agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties and attached to the lease.

A lease does not require the written word.

It is usually not a binding agreement.

The lease agreement may have an oral agreement.2.

Does the lease contain a rent increase?

A rent increase is a monthly increase in rent, usually from the month you signed the lease to the month of the lease expiration.

If the lease is for a two-year period, the rent increase can be an additional payment for rent or a reduction in rent.3.

Does my lease require me to pay a rent deposit?

A deposit is a percentage of the rent that will be due for a specific term.

A tenant who is unable to pay rent is liable to be evicted.

Rent deposit rules vary by state.4.

How much is a rent reduction?

A reduction in the rent is the amount of rent that is reduced.

It may be in the form of rent reductions or a deposit.5.

What is the difference between a rent and a rent decrease?

A decrease in rent is an amount that is lower than the rent due.

A reduction can be in cash or a portion of a deposit or cash.6.

Is my rent deposit refundable?

Yes.

If you cannot pay rent or have an eviction claim pending, the deposit can be refunded to you.7.

Is the rent reduction due on my last day of tenancy?

Yes, the reduction will be effective the day of the last day the tenant paid rent or the tenant vacates.8.

Is it required to rent out my property?

Yes it is.

If a tenant signs a lease to rent an apartment, the landlord is responsible for paying for the tenant’s use of the premises.9.

What happens if the tenant signs another lease?

If the tenant does not vacate within one month after signing the lease, the tenant will be liable for a rent payment.10.

Does a lease require that I vacate before I can receive my deposit?

Yes a lease does require that you vacate when you receive the deposit.

If there is no rent due within a given month, you will be responsible for rent payments.11.

Will my deposit be refundable if I have a legal claim pending?

No, the term of the deposit does not end with the end of the rental agreement.

If your landlord files a legal action, you may be entitled to an additional rent payment or the rent deposit may be refund or used for rent assistance programs.12.

Is there a provision in my lease that states that my deposit is non-refundable?

A landlord may not charge you to vacate an apartment.

If he does so, you must vacate your rental unit without penalty.13.

What about deposits that I am not required to pay?

The landlord may deduct your rent deposit from your next rent payment, as long as the amount is not less than the amount you owe and not more than the sum of the amount in the escrow account.14.

Is a rent-stabilized agreement an agreement between tenants?

Yes an agreement is an agreement that reduces or eliminates the tenant liability for rent for a period of time.

The tenant must be a resident of the unit for at least two years.

The agreement must include a provision for periodic rent payment reductions.15.

Is an eviction lawsuit pending?

Yes you may file a lawsuit.

If an eviction is pending, you should contact your local district attorney.16.

What if my landlord doesn’t vacate?

If your tenant does vacate, the lease may still be valid.

However, if the landlord has no right to evict, the eviction will be stayed and the tenant may remain in the unit until the court orders the eviction.17.

What should I do if my lease is terminated?

If you are evicted, you can apply for a replacement lease.

The court will determine if you can keep the unit.18.

How do I get the court to issue a new lease?

Your landlord should give you notice of the eviction at least three months before the court makes a decision.

If no agreement is reached within the specified time period, your landlord must give you a new, valid lease.19.

How long will it take for a court to decide if my tenancy is valid?

A tenant cannot be evictionsed for more than 90 days.

If that time period is extended, you need to apply for relief, including an extension of the time period.20.

Does eviction protection expire after the tenant has been evicted?

No.

If rent is paid, a new landlord must be appointed and the eviction protection is extended until the landlord vacates or a new tenant becomes available.21.

Is eviction protection applicable to renters who rent from out-of-state?

No eviction protection applies to renters from out of state.22.

What do I do with an eviction notice?