Heidi, Renter in New York, NY

If you rent an apt in a private house from a homeowner is it usually a "gentleman's agmt" that governs this arrangement or is there usually a lease?

Asked by Heidi, New York, NY Sat Aug 3, 2013

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11
Joseph Runfo…, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Tue Sep 10, 2013
A lease will help avoid many misunderstandings. A gentleman's agreement is an unwritten agreement or transaction backed only by the integrity of the counter party to actually abide by the terms of the agreement. An agreement like this is not legally binding and could have a negative effect on business relationships if one party decides to default on their promise.The efficacy of the agreement relies on members to keep informal pledges. The nature of these agreements make them extremely difficult to prove or to track.
0 votes
Kevin and Ju…, Agent, Wildomar, CA
Mon Sep 9, 2013
Always put it in writing -
0 votes
Thomas Moser, Agent, East Northport, NY
Mon Sep 9, 2013
Real estate agreements that are not in writing are not worth the paper they are not written on.
0 votes
Jill Subes, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Sep 9, 2013
It will probably be a month to month. I had that with my tenant and they were there 23 1/2 years
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peanuts247, Home Buyer, Staten Island, NY
Mon Sep 9, 2013
Since u didn't say a lease was offered sounds like a month to month rental. In any event lease or not, u should have a basic agreement, preferably in writing, providing for the terms most important to you, such as names & addresses, rent, term of occupancy & utilities. Most leases are pre-printed landlord forms. U might like to read one over and pick terms u find important to u. Of course if u write an agreement, landlord will most likely want some terms of their own. Gentleman's agreements usually don't work over the long run. What u originally agreed to at the start will inevitably change for one reason or another. If you don't have something to show u live there, unscrupulous landlords may try to lock u out & u might have an uphill battle to prove u were illegally evicted. Along with an agreement u should make sure u control your utilities, except possibly heat, and that you have your own mail box (if there isn't one u should agree with landlord to install one). U should always read your mail when u are a tenant. U should have government Id (DMV) listed & issued to you at your address. Without a lease or agreement with a definite term your landlord could evict u after serving a 30 Day Notice to Quit. A lease will usually have terms that provide for your rights to occupy until a future date & on terms that landlord can only remove u if u breach the lease. Of course a lease goes both ways to protect landlord & tenant, but it is usually written with more don'ts than can do's for the tenant, thus it usually protects the landlord more than the tenant; but it can provide peace of mind that most things that came up in a lease situation are spelled out one way or the other & leave little doubt about what was agreed upon in the first place. If you make an agreement, lease or not, if u are not a lawyer, you should consult a lawyer to explain how the written terms will be interpreted or u might not have the benefit of any deal u wrote anyway. Legal interpretations of lease & contract clauses don't always follow logic. And yes a lawyer does charge for their time to analyze your lease or agreement, but it may well be money well spent.

Your decision!
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Aug 5, 2013
Keep in mind that leases benefit both parties, therefore recommended.....
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Gary R. DeFi…, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Aug 4, 2013
A lease is not always required. However, it is a good way to protect yourself and it also protects the landowner. Some landlords will require it while others do not ask you to sign one. It all depends on the homeowner.
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Joseph Runfo…, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Sun Aug 4, 2013
Hello Miriam, to begin with make sure the rental is for a legal apartment. Is this a 2 family home? With New York’s incredibly tight supply of affordable housing, illegal basement rentals are on the rise, especially in the outer boroughs. A lease will help avoid many misunderstandings.
0 votes
Michael Rich…, Agent, NY,
Sun Aug 4, 2013
Hi Miriam,

There should always be a lease no matter what type of property id being rented. In absence of a lease, you would be a month to month tenant.

Michael Richman
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker
KIAN Realty
450 7th Avenue Suite 1501
New York, NY 10123
212-757-8268 x220
917-991-2528
mrichman@kianrealtynyc.com
http://www.kianrealtynyc.com
0 votes
Joyce Powers, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Sun Aug 4, 2013
If I were a tenant, I would insist on a lease. This protects the tenant and the landlord. There are samples of leases available on the internet.
0 votes
Jill Subes, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Aug 4, 2013
IIt depens on you and the homeowner and what you both agree too
0 votes
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