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Escrow - when a tenant deposits rent money on time to the Clerk of Courts instead of the landlord until the landlord shows proof of repairs and applies for release of money

Lease - a contract which gives the right of possession of property from one to another for a length of time and usually for a specific amount of money

Tenant - the one(s) with possession of the property listed in the lease

Security deposit - money given to the landlord by the tenant to ensure that the tenant follows the terms of the lease

Forwarding Address - The address given to the landlord upon vacating the unit. You must provide your landlord with a forwarding address (the next address where you will receive mail) if you want to receive your security deposit. This must be done in writing

Arrears - past due rent

Amenities - “extra” features and services offered by an apartment community, such as on-site laundry, pool, fitness center, free bus passes, etc.

Damages - money paid to someone who has suffered a loss

Default (rent) - failure to pay; fall behind on payments

Notice - an oral or written warning of a legal event

Term - the period of time that the lease is valid

Retaliation - when a landlord tries to evict a tenant because a complaint is made to the landlord or an agency about a tenancy issue


Eviction - A court process for a landlord to remove a tenant from rental property. The eviction process is also called "unlawful detainer" in some states

Landlord - An owner of real property who, through a lease or rental agreement, promises to rent all or a portion of the property to another person (a "tenant") for -- usually for a set period of time and in exchange for an agreed-upon amount of money

Lease -  A written agreement between a landlord and tenant, through which the tenant has the right to use and occupy the landlord's residential property for a specified amount of time in exchange for rent. Also called a "rental agreement"

Quiet Enjoyment -  the right to the enjoyment and use of rental property without obstruction or interruption from other building residents, the landlord, or other persons

Renewal -  at the end of the rental period, completing another rental agreement to continue residing on the property

Rent -  the agreed upon amount of money paid to the landlord by the tenant, according to the lease agreement

Right of entry - A landlord's (very limited) right to enter premises that have been leased to a tenant, usually: in emergency situations, to show the unit to a prospective tenant, or make repairs (in the final two situations proper notice to the tenant is required)

Security deposit - Refundable money paid by a new tenant to the landlord at or before the move-in date, to guarantee the tenant's performance of lease obligations, i.e. no damage to the property beyond wear and tear, and payment of rent. Most states have set limits on the amount of money a landlord may demand for a security deposit. A lease or rental agreement should state the amount of the security deposit, and should also state what the security deposit will be used for, where it will be held, and whether it will earn interest.

Tenant - A person who has been given the right to use and occupy rental property owned by another person, usually through a lease or rental agreement.

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