What Is A Contract To Lease?

Contract to lease
A contract to lease is an important step in the rental process.

A contract to lease is a legal agreement between two parties, typically a landlord and a tenant, that outlines the terms and conditions under which a property will be rented. It is essentially a pre-lease agreement that binds both parties to the terms agreed upon once a formal lease is signed.

Key elements of a contract to lease

  • Property description: This section will identify the property being rented, including its address, size, and any included amenities.
  • Rent amount and payment terms: This section will specify the monthly rent amount, due date, and acceptable payment methods.
  • Term of lease: This section will state the length of the lease agreement, including the start and end dates.
  • Security deposit: This section will outline the amount of the security deposit required and the conditions under which it will be returned.
  • Occupancy rules and regulations: This section will detail any rules or regulations governing the property, such as noise restrictions, pet policies, guest limitations, and maintenance responsibilities.
  • Termination clauses: This section will outline the conditions under which either party can terminate the lease agreement.
  • Signatures and dates: Both parties must sign and date the contract to lease, signifying their agreement to its terms.

When is a contract to lease used?

A contract to lease is typically used in the following situations:

  • When a property is not yet available for immediate occupancy: This allows the tenant to secure the property and lock in the rent amount before the lease term begins.
  • When the tenant is still in the process of completing their application: This allows the landlord to reserve the property for the tenant while they gather all the necessary paperwork.
  • When both parties are negotiating the terms of the lease: This can be a helpful tool for documenting the agreed-upon terms before signing a formal lease.

Benefits of using a contract to lease

  • Provides security for both parties: The contract to lease ensures that both the landlord and the tenant have a clear understanding of their rights and obligations.
  • Protects against misunderstandings: Having everything in writing can help to prevent disputes down the road.
  • Simplifies the leasing process: By having the key terms already agreed upon, the process of signing a formal lease can be smoother and faster.


A contract to lease is an important document that can help to protect both the landlord and the tenant. By understanding what it is and when it is used, you can ensure that your next rental experience is a smooth and positive one. Whether you are a landlord or a renter, it is important to work with a local and knowledgeable real estate agent to ensure this process goes smoothly.

Are you looking to rent, buy, or sell a property in the South Florida area? We can help Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, don’t forget to download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet.

By natasha moore

REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.