Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A rental agreement is a contract, usually written, between the owner of a property and a renter who desires to have temporary possession of the property. As a minimum, the agreement identifies the parties, the property, the term of the rental, and the amount of rent for the term. The owner of the property may be referred to as the lessor and the renter as the lessee.
In addition to the above, a car rental agreement may include various restrictions on the way a renter can use a car, and the condition in which it must be returned. For example, some rentals cannot be driven off-road, or out of the country, or towing a trailer, without specific permission. In New Zealand, you may have to specifically endorse a promise that the car will not be driven onto Ninety-mile Beach (because of the hazardous tides).
There will certainly be a requirement to show a driver’s license, and only those drivers appearing on the contract may be authorized to drive. It may include an option to purchase auto insurance (motor insurance, UK), if the renter does not already have a policy to cover rentals — another important consideration for multiple drivers. Some agencies may even require a surety bond payable if the car is not returned in order, often held in the form of a credit-card authorization — voided if the car is returned per agreement. A renter should be advised that he or she will be responsible for any parking or traffic violations incurred upon the vehicle during the rental period. There should also be advice on handling thefts, accidents, break-downs, and towing.
Further terms may include added fees for late returns, drop-off at a different location, or failure to top up the petrol immediately before the return.
Finally, there may be provisions for making a non-refundable deposit with a booking, terms for payment of the initial period (with discounts, vouchers, etc), extended periods, and any damages or other fees that accrue prior to the return.
A rental agreement is often called a lease, especially when real estate is rented. In addition to the basics of a rental (who, what, when, how much), a real estate rental may go into much more detail on these and other issues. The real estate may be rented for housing, parking a vehicle(s), storage, business, agricultural, institutional, or government use, or other reasons.
The security deposit is often handled as an escrow deposit, owned by the tenant, but held by the landlord until the premises are surrendered in good condition (ordinary wear and tear excepted). In some states, the landlord must provide the tenant with the name and account number of the bank where the security deposit is held, and pay annual interest to the tenant. Other regulations may require the landlord to submit a list of pre-existing damage to the property, or forfeit the security deposit immediately (because there is no way to determine whether a prior tenant was responsible).
In order to rent or lease in many apartment buildings, a renter (also referred to as a “lessee”) is often required to provide proof of renters insurance before signing the rental agreement. There is a special type of the homeowner’s insurance in the United States specifically for renters — HO-4. This is commonly referred to as renter’s insurance or renter’s coverage. Similar to condominium coverage, referred to as a HO-6 policy, a renter’s insurance policy covers those aspects of the apartment and its contents not specifically covered in the blanket policy written for the complex. This policy can also cover liabilities arising from accidents and intentional injuries for guests as well as passers-by up to 150′ of the domicile. Renter’s policies provide “named peril” coverage, meaning the policy states specifically what you are insured against. Common coverage areas are:
Additional events including riot, aircraft, explosion, smoke, hail, falling objects, volcanic eruption, snow, sleet, and weight of ice may also be covered.
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This glossary post was last updated: 1st May, 2020 | 129 Views.