Building Better Leases Series – Term

Building Better Leases

There are lots of leases out there state the length of the lease by numbers of months, months 1-12, 13-24, etc, year 1, year 2, etc. The best case scenario is when the term of the lease and rental adjustments are spelled out by specific date. The term of the lease seems like something so commonplace and simple that it could never be ambiguous or contentious however the room for misinterpretation most commonly arises when the people who struck the deal have moved on to new horizons and new people are introduced to the old agreement and interprete it differently or without all of the supporting documentation.

The term refers to the period of time starting with the Commencement Date and ending with the Expiration date. It does not include any “Early Possession” period.

Other terms included may be:

  • Extension – Moving the termination date of the current lease, typically for another full term
  • Renewal – Starting a new lease upon the expiration of the current lease
  • Lease-to-own or Lease with an Option to Purchase – methods by which a Lessee can purchase the leased property

The purpose of this section is to clearly state the period of time the lease is in effect. If the term is too vague (i.e. “one year”), the lease can be deemed unenforceable and merely a “tenancy at will” meaning the lease is only valid from month to month, and can be terminated at any time by either the tenant or landlord.

The information provided does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general information purposes only. Consult an attorney for legal advice.