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What terms that cannot be included in a lease or rental agreement?

Leases, sometimes called rental agreements, usually include terms like the amount of rent and the due date, but the parties may include in the lease other terms they agree on, like terms about pets, use of the basement or laundry facilities, or parking.

There are some terms, however, that cannot be included in a lease. The law says that a landlord may not include in a lease any terms that:

  • allow the landlord to accept rent free of the duty to make repairs;
  • say that a tenant gives up their right to respond to an eviction filed against them;
  • requires either party to pay the other party’s attorney fees; or
  • limits the landlord’s liability for damages.

A court also may refuse to enforce terms that it finds are “unconscionable,” that is, outrageous, unreasonable, or very unfair. And, of course, the court will not enforce any term in which the parties agree to engage in illegal conduct.

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