I’ve seen a lot of bad leases in my career. Often placing unnecessary burdens on landlords. There’s one in particular that is sold at a big box store that I see a lot. Its terms add months onto an already long eviction process.
So below I am pasting a free Connecticut residential lease. It is not legal advice. Legal advice would be tailoring this document to meet your specific needs. Rather it is a jumping off point. Use it at your own risk. If you choose to use this you do so at your own peril. It is always wise to consult with an attorney prior to entering into a lease with a tenant. Housing law is a trap for the unwary.
Here’s the bones of a lease:
RESIDENTIAL APARTMENT LEASE AGREEMENT
This Residential Apartment Lease Agreement (“Lease”) is made and effective ______________ ___, 20__ by and between (Landlord”), and (“Tenant”).
Landlord hereby rents to Tenant and Tenant accepts in its present condition the residence at the following address: , _______________, __________ Connecticut ________ (the “Premises”).
The term of this Lease shall start on _______ ___, 20___ and end on ________ ____, 20_____.
Tenant agrees to pay, without demand, to Landlord as rent for the Home the sum of $___________ per month in advance on the first day of each calendar month.
4. SECURITY DEPOSIT
Upon execution of this lease, Tenant shall pay the Landlord a security deposit in the amount of $___________.
5. QUIET ENJOYMENT
Landlord agrees that if Tenant timely pays the rent and performs the other obligations in this Lease, Landlord will not interfere with Tenant’s peaceful use and enjoyment of the Home.
6. USE OF PREMISES
A. The Home shall be used and occupied by Tenant exclusively as a private single-family residence. Neither the Home nor any part of the Home or yard shall be used at any time during the term of this Lease for the purpose of carrying on any business, profession, or trade of any kind, or for any purpose other than as a private single-family residence.
B. Tenant shall comply with all the health and sanitary laws, ordinances, rules, and orders of appropriate governmental authorities and homes associations, if any with respect to the Home.
7. CONDITION OF PREMISES
A. Tenant agrees that Tenant has examined the Home, including the grounds and all buildings and improvements, and that they are, at the time of this Lease, in good order, good repair, safe, clean, and tenantable condition.
B. Tenant shall comply with all the health and sanitary laws, ordinances, rules, and orders of appropriate governmental authorities and homes association, if any, with respect to the Home.
8. ASSIGNMENT AND SUBLETTING
A. Tenant shall not assign this Lease, or sublet or grant any concession or license to use the Home or any part of the Home without Landlord’s prior written consent.
B. Any assignment, subletting, concession, or license without the prior written consent of Landlord, or an assignment or subletting by operation of law, shall be void and, at Landlord’s option, terminate this Lease.
9. ALTERATIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS
A. Tenant shall make no alterations to the Home or construct any building or make other improvements without the prior written consent of Landlord.
B. All alterations, changes, and improvements built, constructed, or placed on or around the Home by Tenant, with the exception of fixtures properly removable without damage to the Home and movable personal property, shall, unless otherwise provided by written agreement between Landlord and Tenant, be the property of Landlord and remain at the expiration or earlier termination of this Lease.
10. DAMAGE TO PREMISES
If the Home, or any part of the Home, shall be partially damaged by fire or other casualty not due to Tenant’s negligence or willful act, or that of Tenant’s family, agent, or visitor, there shall be an abatement of rent corresponding with the time during which, and the extent to which, the Home is untenantable. If Landlord shall decided not to rebuild or repair, the term of this Lease shall end and the rent shall be prorated up to the time of the damage.
11. DANGEROUS MATERIALS
Tenant shall not keep or have on or around the Home any article or thing of a dangerous, inflammable, or explosive character that might unreasonably increase the danger of fire on or around the Home or that might be considered hazardous.
Tenant shall be responsible for arranging and paying for all utility services (telephone, water and electricity) required on the premises. Tenant will also pay for all heating oil and agrees to keep at least 75 gallons of oil in the tank at all times. Tenant shall not default on any obligation to a utility provider for utility services at the Home.
13. MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
A. Tenant will, at Tenant’s sole expense, keep and maintain the Home and appurtenances in good and sanitary condition and repair during the term of this Lease. In particular, Tenant shall keep the fixtures in the Home in good order and repair. Tenant shall, at Tenant’s sole expense, make all required repairs to the plumbing, range, oven heating apparatus, electric and gas fixtures, other mechanical devices and systems, floors, ceilings and walls whenever damage to such items shall have resulted from Tenant’s misuse, waste, or neglect, or that of the Tenant’s family, agent, or visitor.
B. Tenant agrees that no signs shall be placed or painting done on or about the Home by Tenant without the prior written consent of Landlord.
C. Tenant agrees to promptly notify Landlord in the event of any damage, defect or destruction of the Home, or the failure of any of Landlord’s appliances or mechanical systems, and except for repairs or replacements that are the obligation of Tenant pursuant to Subsection A above, Landlord shall use its best efforts to repair or replace such damaged or defective area, appliance or mechanical system.
14. ANIMALS and SMOKE-FREE ENVIRONMENT
Tenant shall keep no domestic or other animals in or about the Home. There shall be no smoking of any kind in the Home.
15. RIGHT OF INSPECTION
Landlord and Landlord’s agents shall have the right at all reasonable times during the term of this Lease and any renewal of this Lease to enter the Home for the purpose of inspecting the premises and/or making any repairs to the premises or other item as required under this Lease.
16. DISPLAY OF SIGNS
Landlord or Landlord’s agent may display “For Sale” or similar signs on or about the Home and enter to show the Home to prospective purchasers.
17. SURRENDER OF PREMISES
At the expiration of the Lease, Tenant shall quit and surrender the Home in as good as condition as it was at the commencement of this Lease, reasonable wear and tear and damages by the elements expected.
If at any time during the term of this Lease, Tenant abandons the Home or any of Tenant’s personal property in or about the Home, Landlord shall have the following rights: Landlord may, at Landlord’s option, enter the Home by any means without liability to Tenant for damages and may relet the Home, for the whole or any part of the then unexpired term, and may receive and collect all rent payable by virtue of such reletting; Also, at Landlord’s option, Landlord may hold Tenant liable for any difference between the rent that would have been payable under this Lease during the balance of the unexpired term, if this Lease had continued in force, and the net rent for such period realized by Landlord by means of such reletting. Landlord may also dispose of any of Tenant’s abandoned personal property as Landlord deems appropriate, without liability to Tenant. Landlord is entitled to presume that Tenant has abandoned the Home if Tenant removes substantially all of Tenant’s furnishings from the Home, if the Home is unoccupied for a period of two (2) consecutive weeks, or if it would otherwise be reasonable for Landlord to presume under the circumstances that the Tenant has abandoned the Home.
Tenant acknowledges that Landlord does not provide a security alarm system or any security for the Home or for Tenant and that any such alarm system or security service, if provided, is not represented or warranted to be complete in all respects or to protect Tenant from all harm. Tenant hereby releases Landlord from any loss, suit, claim, charge, damage or injury resulting from lack of security or failure of security.
If any part or parts of this Lease shall be held unenforceable for any reason, the remainder of this Agreement shall continue in full force and effect.
Tenant acknowledges that Landlord will not provide insurance coverage for Tenant’s property, nor shall Landlord be responsible for any loss of Tenant’s property, whether by theft, fire, acts of God, or otherwise.
22. BINDING EFFECT
The covenants and conditions contained in the Lease shall apply to and bind the heirs, legal representatives, and permitted assigns of the parties.
23. GOVERNING LAW
It is agreed that this Lease shall be governed by, construed, and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Connecticut.
24. ENTIRE AGREEMENT
This Lease shall constitute the entire agreement between the parties. Any prior understanding or representation of any kind preceding the date of this Lease is hereby superseded. This Lease may be modified only by a writing signed by both Landlord and Tenant.
Any notice required or otherwise given pursuant to this Lease shall be in writing; hand delivered, mailed certified return receipt requested, postage prepaid, or delivered by overnight delivery service, if to Tenant, at the House and if to Landlord, at the address for payment of rent.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have caused this Lease to be executed this ____nd day of _________, 20____.