Over the centuries, leases have served many purposes and the nature of legal regulation has varied according to those purposes and the social and economic conditions of the times. Leases, for example, were mainly used for agricultural purposes until the late 18th century and early 19th century when the growth of cities in industrialized countries had made leases an important form of landholding in urban areas.
The modern law of landlord and tenant in common law jurisdictions retains the influence of the common law and, particularly, the laissez-faire philosophy that dominated the law of contract and property law in the 19th century. With the growth of consumerism, consumer protection legislation recognised that common law principles, which assume equal bargaining power between the contracting parties, create hardships when that assumption is inaccurate. Consequently reformers have emphasised the need to assess residential tenancy laws in terms of protection they provide to tenants. Legislation to protect tenants is now common.
A lease rental agreement is a contract between a tenant and landlord, which outlines the rules, regulations and terms of the living arrangement. The tenant should abide all of the language contained within the agreement.
A rental lease agreement will state how much rent the tenant should pay to the landlord. Rent is usually due on the first of the month. Landlords will sometimes give tenants a grace period of 4 or 5 days to pay rent without being assessed a fee.
The lease agreement will designate the time frame for the lease. A lease is usually in effect for one year, but that can vary. The beginning date and ending date is clearly spelled out in a lease agreement.
The landlord will make known, within the confines of the agreement, the requirements for the security deposit. A security deposit is usually required in case the property is damaged. If a tenant leaves the premises before the end of the lease agreement, the security is forfeited, unless an another arrangement can be worked out between the tenant and landlord.