(1.) A lease is a conveyance of lands or tenements for a certain length of time by the owner, who, in such case, is called the landlord or lessor, to another person, called the lessee or tenant, for a certain consideration, called rent.
(2.) The laws of the several States fix the length of time for which a lease may be made in certain cases. In California, for example, a lease of lands for agricultural purposes, in which is reserved to the owner any rent or service of any kind, cannot be made for more than ten years, and a lease of a city or town lot cannot be made for more than fifty years.
(3.) A lease for a longer period than one year must be in writing; in fact, all leases ought to be in writing. As many copies of a lease should be made as there are parties to it, and one copy should be retained by each party. If personal property is also let in connection with real estate, an inventory of such personal property should be made, and be attached to the lease, and be referred to in the body of the lease. A lease of lands for a term of years should be acknowledged, and the acquisition or disposition by a mining corporation of mining ground should have attached the ratification of more than two-thirds of the stockholders of such corporation, as indicated in Form No. 19.
(4.) The lessor of a building intended to be occupied by human beings must put it into a condition fit for such occupancy, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, and repair all subsequent dilapidations which render it untenantable. But the lessee must repair all deteriorations or injuries caused to the building occasioned by his own ordinary negligence.
(5.) Where the premises are held by the day, week, month, quarter, or year, rent is payable at the end of the respective periods as it successively becomes due, when there is no usage or contract to the contrary. In the majority of cases, however, there is a contract between the landlord and the tenant to the efTect that the rent shall be payable in advance for a stated period, as such advance payment assures the landlord that his tenant will remain for another such period, and if the tenant sees fit to remove before the period expires, the landlord has an opportunity to secure another tenant without loss of rent.
(6.) The hiring of a thing terminates, at the end of the term agreed upon, or by the mutual consent of the parties, or by the lessee acquiring a title to the premises superior to that of his landlord, or and by the destruction of the tenement.
(7.) If a lessee of real property remains in possession after the expiration of the term agreed upon, and the landlord accepts rent from him, the parties are presumed to have renewed the lease for the same terms and for the same time, not exceeding one month, when the rent is payable monthly, but not longer, in any case, than one year.
(8.) Where no time is agreed upon, the landlord, if he wishes to terminate the lease, must give the tenant notice in writing, specifying the time within which the tenant must remove and giving him one month in which to do so. (See Form No. 67). After the time mentioned in the notice has expired, if the tenant has not removed, the landlord may institute legal proceedings against him.
(9.) Where the time is agreed upon, three days' notice only is required to be given by the landlord to the tenant. (See Form No. 68). The notice may be given at any time within one year after the rent falls due, and should be served on any sub-tenant as well as on the tenant of the premises. Like notice may be served when any condition of the lease is broken, and in some cases provision is made in the lease how such notice shall be served, and that forfeiture will follow if the tenant fails to perform the covenant complained of. (See Form No. 64.)
(10.) In all leases of lands or tenements, or of any interest therein, from month to month, the landlord, by serving written notice upon the tenant at least fifteen days before the expiration of the month, may change the terms of the lease to take effect at the expiration of the month, and if the tenant continues to hold the premises, the rent and terms specified in the notice becomes part of the lease. California Civil Code, Sec. 827. (See Form No. 69.)
(11.) Two forms of farm leases are shown; also two forms of oil leases, and, in connection with the latter, a contract for the drilling of an oil well. (Nos. 61-65).