Common Terms on Rental Leases

Rental lease agreements are legally enforceable contracts between tenants and landlords. Each property has its own set of requirements and policies, and so there will be differences from one lease agreement to the next. Even if you have previously rented an apartment, you should always read every new lease agreement before signing it.

Lessee and Lessor

The lessee is the person who is renting the property, also known as the tenant. The lessor is the property owner or the property management company. Somewhere toward the beginning of the contract, you’ll write your own name in for the lessee and the property owner will do the same for the lessor slot.

Grace Period

Every rental agreement will specify how much rent is due and when it is due. Some contracts may also have a grace period. This is a period of time you have to make the rent payment before you’ll incur late fees or penalties.


If your apartment sustains storm damage or any other type of damage not caused by you or one of your guests, the abatement policy will go into effect. This means the landlord will temporarily suspend your lease and not charge rent while you live elsewhere because the apartment is uninhabitable.

Security Deposit

It’s customary for landlords to require a security deposit, which is typically equal to at least one month of rent. This sum is held in escrow until you move out. When you move out, the landlord will inspect the property. If you have inflicted any damage on the property, your security deposit will cover the costs. Any remaining funds will be given back to you.


Every lease agreement specifies the conditions under which the lease agreement will terminate. Many apartment leases expire after one year, at which point they may be renewed. In addition to expiration, termination will occur upon eviction.

Choosing an apartment is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, so it’s crucial to ensure you fully understand the terms on your lease agreement. When it’s time to move, check out the available properties from West WillowWood Apartments in Fargo, ND. You can call their office at (701) 356-1700 with questions about apartment availability and rental policies.