Is renting and leasing the same thing?

Renting is only used by the owner of a property. For example, the owner of a house or flat may want to give possession and use of the property to another person for a certain period of time. The owner then receives a periodic payment in exchange for renting the property. Often, the terms "lease" and "rental agreement" are used interchangeably to mean the same thing.

But the terms can refer to two different types of agreements. Both rental and lease agreements are legally binding contracts. But each has a very different purpose. Below we will review the main differences between a lease and a rental agreement.

The landlord may terminate the lease by giving the tenant 14 days' notice of his intention to terminate the lease based on the landlord's determination that the damage requires the tenant's removal and that the use of the premises is substantially impaired, in which case the lease terminates as of the expiration of the notice period. Rent itself refers to a regular payment made to a landlord by a tenant who rents out some kind of property, such as a house or a flat. Whether you decide to offer a rental agreement or a lease, it is vitally important that you know who your tenant is. If a landlord receives prepaid rent, it must be deposited into an escrow account at a federally insured depository institution authorized to do business in Virginia by the end of the fifth business day following receipt and must remain in the account until such time as the prepaid rent becomes due.

It is likely that you are currently renting a room, house or flat, as more than 43 million households are in some type of rental situation. The duration of the rental contract shall be 12 months and shall not be subject to automatic renewal, except in the case of a month-to-month rental contract, as set out in subparagraph C of Article 55.1-1253;. Secure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord's default, in which case the tenant shall be exempt from paying rent during the period of the landlord's default, as determined by the court. Unless otherwise agreed, a landlord who conveys premises that include a dwelling unit subject to a lease in a bona fide sale to a bona fide purchaser is relieved of liability under the lease and this chapter as to events occurring after notice to the tenant of the conveyance.

Thereafter, the authorized contact person identified in the rental application, lease, or other landlord document may (i) have access to the dwelling unit or premises and tenant records maintained by the landlord and (ii) rightfully claim the deceased tenant's personal property and otherwise manage the deceased tenant's affairs with the landlord. The notice will inform the tenant that any renter's insurance obtained by the tenant does not cover flood damage and advise the tenant to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or to visit the websites of FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program or the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Flood Hazard Information System for information on whether the property is located in a special flood hazard area. In most cases, leases are considered "month-to-month" and are automatically renewed at the end of each term (month) unless the tenant or landlord indicates otherwise. If the dwelling or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to such an extent that the tenant's enjoyment of the dwelling is substantially impaired or the necessary repairs can only be carried out if the tenant leaves the dwelling, either the tenant or the landlord can terminate the rental agreement.

The landlord's failure to give such notice will not affect the validity of the rental agreement. The tenant may pay or submit to the court an offer of redemption for payment of all rent due from the return date, including late charges, attorney's fees, and court costs, on or before the first return date in an unlawful detainer action. With a lease, the landlord and tenant are free to change the terms of the agreement at the end of each month-to-month period (as long as proper notice procedures are followed). For example, some leases may include a pet policy in the rental unit, while others may include an additional addendum about rules or regulations, such as excessive noise.