Relocation Glossary: Lease & Legal Terms

Addendums: These are documents specifying additional terms and conditions of the rental agreement and are typically attached to the lease. They are just as important and valid as the lease agreement and in some cases can be quite extensive. Landlords use them to specify all types of requirements and living arrangements they want their tenants to follow, i.e. no pets, no waterbeds and no roommates allowed, $50 fee for lock outs, $30 fee for bounced check, every Wednesday garbage must be placed in front of the building, etc. There are no standard addendums.

Eviction: A legal proceeding by a landlord to recover possession of property.

Lessor: One who rents property to another under a lease, otherwise known as a landlord.

Guarantor / Co-signer: This term refers to an individual (in rare cases it could be a corporation) who is willing to take on all of the financial responsibilities associated with renting an apartment. The guarantor usually is an individual who is employed within the United States and earns an income in excess of 3 times the monthly rent of the apartment.

Rental Application: A basic application form that lets the landlord collect information about the applicant. There is no confusing or intricate legal language involved. The only responsibility that the applicant bears is that he is binding him / herself to the apartment and will be responsible for its entire financial and other obligation stated in the lease if accepted. There are different applications; however the relevant information is practically the same. Some landlords (many luxury apartments in particular) have their own application

Lease: A legal contract between you and the landlord binding you to renting a particular apartment under all the terms and conditions included in the lease. A standard apartment lease in New York is signed for 12 months.

Subletting: This term refers to taking over somebody else’s lease. Normally you should sign a subletting contract specifying all of the terms of the sublet (duration, money, etc.)


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