Law Office of Herman I. Kalfen - Civil Litigation - Business Law - Environmental

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Renting Real Estate

A rental agreement can be oral or written, but an agreement for more than one year generally must be in writing. There are two basic types of rental agreements--leases and month-to-month agreements. A lease is a rental for a definite period of time, generally one year. A month-to-month rental is not for a definite period of time. It continues until the landlord asks the tenant to leave or the tenant decides to move. Unless otherwise specified in writing, a rental agreement is presumed to be month-to-month. If a tenant pays rent on a monthly basis, the tenant must give the landlord 30 days' written notice before moving. A landlord who wants the tenant to leave or who wants to raise the rent also generally must give the tenant 30 days' written notice.

Negotiating a Lease

Many businesses will have specific needs that are not satisfied by a standardized lease agreement, such as the operating expenses provisions of the lease. It is in a property owner's best interest to prepare a written agreement that addresses both parties' rights and responsibilities in the event problems arise.

The following items should be addressed in every rental agreement:

  1. Amount of and conditions for returning the security deposit
  2. Who is responsible for maintaining fixtures, appliances, and common areas of the property and what standards apply
  3. Renewal rights at the end of the lease
  4. Cancellation rights
  5. Circumstances under which the owner can enter leased premises
  6. Who is obligated to insure the property and which party is named beneficiary under any insurance policy
  7. Subleasing rights or prohibitions
  8. Any restrictions on the rental of adjacent space

Law Office of Herman I. Kalfen - Civil Litigation - Business Law - Environmental

Kalfen Law Corporation
Herman I. Kalfen, JD, REA, NAEP

4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 1400
San Francisco, California 94111

Call Anytime - 415.935.5555
TOLL FREE 1.888.415.WINS

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