California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) Lease Agreement Template

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The California Association of Realtors Residential Lease Agreement Template is a versatile document that may be used to define and solidify a rental agreement between a landlord and tenant(s).   This document assumes that regardless of the nature of a lease (fixed or month-to-month), it should be in writing. This is a wise policy to have when entering an agreement that will have such a profound effect on a Landlord’s finances or a Tenant’s life.  This agreement is designed to be compliant with the law while documenting the concerns both parties will have when entering such an arrangement.

This agreement will act as a legal contract in a court of law. This will give each party the security in knowing they may hold the other responsible for upholding their end of the arrangement. The individual parties in this agreement should make sure they have a clear understanding of the terms in this document as they will both be obligated to its terms for the time period it is in effect. Furthermore, and just as important, each party may expect the other to adhere to this contract and retains the right to enforce the agreement through the courts if necessary.

How to Write

1 – Organize The Information Regarding The Agreement Then Open The Document On This Page

It will be imperative for the use of this form that all the aspects of the agreed upon Landlord/Tenant Terms to be documented be recorded accurately. Organize the relevant notes, and required identifying material then, open or download the form using the button below the image.

2 – Introduce The Two Parties

On the first blank line, enter the Full Name of the Landlord renting this property.

On the second blank line, enter the Full Name of the Tenant who will rent this property from the Landlord.

3 – The Exact Terms Of The Lease Should Be Entered Where Requested

The first section, “Property,” will request three items. First on the blank line in Item A, report the Complete Address of the property the above Tenant will rent from the Landlord. Then, on the blank line in Item B, enter the Full Name of each individual who will be living on the Premises while this agreement is in effect. The blank space in Item C requires a full report on all the Personal Property on the Premises at the time the Tenant moves in. If this Property is listed on an attachment check the box provided then make sure it is included with this paperwork at the time of signing.

Section 2, “Term,” will seek some definitions regarding when the Property defined in Section 2 will be leased to the Tenant. This will also have a few items requesting direct input. First, on the blank line, following the words “The term begins on…,” enter the exact Date this agreement will commence. There will be two checkboxes, labeled “A” and “B” accordingly. Mark the check box that applies to the Termination of this agreement. If this is a Month-to-Month Agreement, then mark check box “A.” However, if this is a stable and long term lease, then select check box “B,” then enter the Date of Termination on the first blank line, the Time of Termination on the second blank line, and select “AM” or “PM” by marking the appropriate box.

Section 3, “Rent,” requires a definition to the Amount of Money that must be submitted by the Tenant as payment for leasing the Premises.

On the blank line in Item A, enter the Monthly Rent Amount that must be paid by the Tenant.

Item B will define the Rent Payment due on the first of the month, however if it will be due on another Date, then mark the check box and enter the Calendar Day it will be due (i.e. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.)

Item C will name terms for proration of the rent. Read this carefully as it must be followed. Then, Item D will define how the Rent should be paid by the Tenant. Four options are provided, each following a check box: Personal Check, Money Order, Cashier’s Check, and Other. Select the acceptable payment method by marking the box that applies. If “Other” has been chosen, a blank line has been provided for further definition.

Below this, enter the Name, Phone Number, Address, and the Hours/Days of who will accept this rent, where it will be accepted, and when it should be delivered (if delivered by hand).

The last part of Item D will cover the event of a bounced check. That is, one that was used to pay the rent and has been rejected by the bank due to insufficient funds. After the words, “Rent shall be paid by,” check the box “Money Order” or “Cashier’s Check” to require one of these methods of payment be used after a bounced check.

The fourth section, “Security Deposit,” will only require input in Item A. On the blank space provided, preceding the words “…as a security deposit,” enter the Numerical Amount of Money the Tenant must supply as a Security Deposit. Then select the first check box if this amount will be transferred and held by the Owner or the second check box if it will be transferred and held in the Owner’s Broker’s Trust Account. Make sure to both all Signature Parties read and comprehend the rest of the items in this section.

Section 5 will provide a table where the Tenant’s Move-In Costs and Payments will be documented. On the first blank line, enter Full Name of the individual who shall receive the Tenant’s Move-In Funds. Then, check the box labeled “Personal Check,” “Money Order,” or “Cashier’s Check” to indicate the Method of Payment required.

In the first column of the first row, enter the Start Date and End Date of the Rental Period the Move-In costs will cover, then use the columns to report the Total Amount Due, the Payment Received, the Balance Due, and The Due Date of this Payment. Use the second row to report the Security Deposit Total Due Amount, Payment Received, Balance Due, and Date Due. The Third and Fourth Rows have been provided for any additional Move-In Expenses to be documented. Enter the type of Expense on the blank line next to the word “Other,” then fill in the Total Due Amount, Payment Received, Balance Due, and Date Due. The last row will require a Total for each column (except the Due Date).

Both the Tenant and Landlord Signing this Agreement must initial the bottom of this page. The Reviewer must also self-report in the “Reviewed By” box as well as supply the Review Date.

Item A, in Section 6, must be tended to. This item will define five days past an unpaid Rent’s Due Date as being late. This may be adjusted by checking the box in the parentheses then entering the Number of Days when Rent is considered Late. The blank lines following the words “…sum of…” will provide an option to define the Late Penalty as a flat dollar amount by entering it on the first blank line or a Percentage of the Rent on the second blank line. This Late Fee may only be defined as one or the other, not both.

Section 7 requires one of two choices to be marked to indicate what, if any, terms of Parking (vehicles) has been agreed upon. If the Landlord has permitted Parking, then mark check box “A.” This will require a description of where the Tenant may park entered on the first blank line. Also, indicate if Parking is included in the rent by marking the first check box in this paragraph or if it must be charged separately by marking the second check box in this paragraph. If there is an additional amount to be charged to the Tenant for Parking, enter this dollar amount on the blank line following the words “…be an additional…” If Parking is not permitted, then mark check box “B.”

Section 8 will outline any storage space available or document that none is. If Storage Space will be provided to the Tenant, then mark check box “A.” This will require a description of the storage space on the first blank line. Also, after the term “…right to storage space,” place a mark in either the first check box to indicate that Storage Fees are included in the rent or the second box to indicate there will be a separate Fee for Storage Space. If there is a separate Fee, enter this fee on the next blank line. In the event that Storage is not provided (or permitted), then check box “B.”

Section 9, “Utilities,” will name the Tenant as responsible for all Utilities and Services. The first blank line has been provided so any additional charges may be documented. The second blank line has been provided to define any Utilities and/or Services the Tenant will be exempt from maintaining/paying for.

The “Condition of Premises,” Section 10, will supply four descriptions. Mark each check box that applies. If the Tenant has inspected the rental and wishes to note any defects/damages, then mark check box “A.” The blank line provided has been supplied so the Tenant may document such defects/damages accurately. If the Tenant’s Acknowledgement is an attached Statement of Condition, then select check box “B.” If the Tenant requires certain number of days to provide a list of such defects/damages to the Landlord, then mark check box “C.” The default will be for three days however if the Tenant needs a different amount of time, then mark the check box in the parentheses and enter the number of days required. If other conditions or agreements apply, then mark check box “D” and enter a description of such provisions.

Section 11 shall deal with maintenance and will have two items requiring attention. In Item “B,” check the first box to define the Landlord as the party responsible for landscaping/grounds maintenance. If this party is the Tenant, then mark the second box. If there are any exceptions, they may be documented on the blank line provided.

Item C will contain the same language in case these tasks must be split up.

Item D shall provide a Landlord check box, a Tenant check box, and a blank line to define any specific Maintenance tasks that either of these parties must perform.

Item F will be the next area to tend to. If there are any items or personal property on the Premises the Landlord will not be held responsible for, then enter this on the blank lines in this item. 

If the Tenant has Pets that must be allowed on the Premises, then enter a description of the Pet (i.e. type, size, name) in Item 13. 

Section 14, “Rules/Regulations,” shall provide the language necessary for the Tenant to be required to follow the rules. Item B will give two choices. Select Choice 1 in the Landlord will provide a Rules/Regulations Book for the Property within a certain number or days or a date. Enter the number of days on the first blank line or the Date when this material will be delivered on the second blank line. Select Choice 2 if the Rule Book has already been provided to the Tenant.

4 – Additional Information And Disclosures Must Be Attended To

If this property is a Condominium; Planned Unit Development, then Section 15 will require attention. First, mark the check box next to the number 15 then, enter the name of the HOA on the blank line in Item A. Next, in Item B, mark the box for Choice 1 if the HOA Rules will be delivered to the Tenant within a certain number of days or by a specific date. If so, then either enter the number of days on the first blank line or the date when the Tenant may expect the delivery of this rule book on the second blank line. Select Choice 2, if the Tenant has already been provided with HOA rules.

Section 17 will cover the subject of Keys and Locks. Before reviewing Items B and C, Item A will need some attention. If the Tenant will receive Keys/Locks before this agreement’s Commencement Date, then check the first box in Item A. If the Tenant will receive the Keys/Locks on a specific Date, then mark the second check box and enter the Date on the blank line provided. Below this will be a list of common Keys dispensed to a Tenant: Premises, Mailbox, Common Area(s), Remote Controls for Garage/Gate Openers, and two blank lines. Check the box preceding each lock the Tenant will receive a Key for and enter the Number of Keys made available on the blank line provided. The two check boxes with blank lines are available for any Keys/Locks the Tenant will receive but has not been mentioned. Make sure to describe how many Keys for what locks if selecting this. Item B will define whether or not the Tenant acknowledges that locks to the Premises have or have not been re-keyed. If so, then mark the first check box in Item B. If not, then check the second check box.

Next, in Section 18, locate Item C. If the Tenant will sign a Key safe/Lockbox Addendum, will allow the use of such, and permit entry to the Premises to access the Key safe/Lockbox, then mark the check box in Item C. If not, leave this blank.

If the Premises was constructed before 1978 and the Tenant in receipt of Form FLD and the Federally Approved Lead Pamphlet, then mark the check box in Section 22. If not, then leave this box unmarked

If the Tenant acknowledges the Premises is within one mile of an area that may contain potentially explosive armed forces munitions, then check the box in Section 23. If this is not the case, then leave this box unmarked.

If the Landlord has a Periodic Pest Control contract with the Premises and will give the Tenant a copy of the notice given to the Landlord by the Pest Control Company then, mark the check box in Section 24.

Section 25 is a Database Disclosure that should be read by all Signature Parties and will not require any input however, Section 26 will handle the matter of Possession of the Premises. By default, the Landlord has Five Calendar Days after the Commencement Date to release possession of the Premises to the Tenant. If a different amount of time is needed, then check the box in the parentheses and enter the number of Calendar Days after the Commencement Date where the Tenant will have possession of the Premises. If the Tenant is already in possession of the Premises then, mark the check box in item B.

Section 27 will define how the Tenant may vacate the Premises. Read this section carefully as Item A will define the Tenant’s responsibilities in this matter. If there are any additional responsibilities the Tenant will be expected to fulfill, report them on the blank line provided in Item A in Section 27.

The next task will be to report where each Signature Party (Landlord and Tenant) will receive notices from the other. Section 34, “Notice,” will have to defined column. One for the Landlord and one for the Tenant. Record the Complete Address where the Tenant may serve the Landlord a Notice on the blank line following the word “Landlord” and the Complete Address where the Landlord may serve the Tenant a Notice on the blank lines following the word “Tenant.” e some space to document it properly. If there is not enough space, you may cite an attachment by Title and Date with this information. Additionally, there will be three check boxes to verify that supplements to this form are attached. Mark the check boxes labeled “Key safe/Lockbox Addendum (CAR Form KLA),” “Interpreter/Translator (CAR Form ITA),” and “Lead-Based Paint Hazards Disclosure (CAR Form FLD)” to indicate if any of these supplements are attached. Check only the boxes that define an attachment that is present.

5 – Define The Other Relevant Parties 

If any Agencies have been involved in this Agreement between the Landlord and the Tenant, it will need to be reported in Section 42. The first item, “A. Confirmation,” will contain some options for defining an outside entity(ies) involved in this agreement. Locate the first blank line then Print the Full Name of the (if applicable) Listing Agent. If this entity only has a relationship with the Landlord, then mark the box labeled “the Landlord Exclusively.” If this entity has a relationship with both parties then, mark the box labeled “both the Landlord and Tenant.” If a Leasing Agent is involved, then fill in the Name of the Leasing Agent on the blank line following the words: “Leasing Agent.” If a Leasing Agent is involved, check the first box if the Tenant has an exclusive relationship with this entity. If this entity has a relation with only the Landlord, the second box should be marked. If the Leasing Agent has a relationship with both the Tenant and the Landlord, then mark the third check box. If this agreement is for a period that is longer than one year and a disclosure regarding real estate relationships (CAR Form AD) has been attached, mark the check box in Item B.

If there is a separate agreement defining a Tenant compensating a Broker for services regarding this agreement, then mark the box in Section 43.

If an Interpreter or Translator is required for Tenant to review and understand this lease, then report the language the Tenant requires a Translator for on the blank line in Section 44. Note: This will require Form ITA to be attached.

6 – All Signature Parties Should Satisfy The Requirements For Execution

The next page will begin with a box which each Signature Tenant must read. Below this will be some blank lines labeled “Tenant” and “Date.” Each Tenant entering this Agreement as a Tenant must Sign his or her Name then enter the Date he or she has signed this document. Below the Signature, each Tenant should report his or her Address, Street, City, State, Zip Code, Telephone Number, Fax Number (if applicable), and E-mail Address. Each of these items will have an appropriately labeled blank line.

If a Guarantor is required for this Agreement, then he or she should attend to section 46. Here the Guarantor should check the box in this section, then read the statement. Below will be where the Guarantor must supply his or her Printed Name, Signature, Date of Signature, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Telephone Number, and E-mail Address. If more than one Guarantor is involved an attachment with these items should be made.

Section 48 shall request confirmation of Receipt from the Signature Party with the legal power to enter this Agreement with the Tenant. The Landlord, Owner, or Agent should sign his or her Name on the blank line labeled “Landlord,” then enter the Date of Signature on the blank line labeled “Date.” Below the Landlord Signature line, he or she will need to provide the Landlord Address, City, State, Zip Code, Telephone Number, Fax, and E-Mail

If any Real Estate Brokers have been involved in this agreement, they must locate and read the box titled “Real Estate Brokers.” Below this, each one should provide his or her Firm Name, Agent Signature, Signature Date, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Telephone Number, Fax Number and E-mail Address. There will be a distinct area for a Leasing Firm and another for a Listing Firm.

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