Leases



In a lease, the landlord is the lessor and the tenant is the lessee. Oral leases can be binding, but generally leases are written and give exclusive possession to the property to the lessee and a reversionary right to the lessor.

A reversionary right means the owner has the right to regain possession of the property after the lease has expired. Just like in any other contract, a valid lease must contain mutual agreement, consideration, capable parties, and lawful object.

The lessee has the right of quiet enjoyment and possession of property, which is the assurance that their possession will not be disturbed by anybody with superior title (the landlord).

The lease is a bilateral contract because both the landlord and tenant have obligations to perform. The lease agreement can restrict the tenant’s use of the property and specify the conditions under which a security deposit may retained, as well as the duration of the rental.

Death does not usually terminate the lease upon the death of one of the parties; the responsibilities as stated in the agreement could pass on to the heirs of the deceased.

Generally, when a property is sold the new owner would have to honor the lease; however, this is not always the case. Hence, leases are personal property, as they do not always run with the land. It is a contract with an individual person.

Unless the lease forbids it, the tenant has the right to assign or sublet the property. An assignment is a transfer of contract rights, as opposed to a sublet, where when you rent the property to another person you still maintain your responsibility to your landlord under your rental agreement.

Constructive eviction is a term used in the law of real property to describe a circumstance in which a landlord either does or fails to do something in violation of his or her legal duty. An example would be if the landlord refuses to provide water to the apartment, as a tenant cannot live without water. Thus, they would need to vacate the premises. This would be constructive eviction.