Typical Terms

Please note that the information below is for resource only, and not meant to replace the council of an attorney. Penn State Abington does not in any way provide any legal advice.


  • Apartment Walk Through – This is the inspection of the property or apartment that you and your landlord will do together before you move in and when you move out. When moving in, a list of all of the defects in the apartment will be given to you called the “Damage Report” or something similar. Then the same list is used when moving out to compare the state of the apartment or property before you moved in and after moving out.
  • Damage Report – A document listing the defects and damages to the apartment before the tenant(s) move in.
  • Lease Application – This is the paperwork and process before the lease agreement. It is the approval process done by the landlord or property manager to ensure the potential tenant(s) are able to take on the responsibility of the lease agreement.
  • Lease Agreement – A legal contract for a fixed term to live in an apartment or other type of property as stated in the agreement. Typically the term is for 10 or 12 months in the area.
  • Rental Agreement – A short-term agreement like a lease agreement but without a fixed term or for a shorter term than a lease. Can be month-to-month or less.
  • Rent – The payment due to the landlord or property manager as stated on the lease or rental agreement.
  • Tenant - Any adult over the age of 18, or as stated in your agreement. All tenants are responsible for fulfilling the lease or rental agreement, even if some or all other tenants leave the property.
  • Security Deposit – A sum of money held by the landlord or property in the course of a rental or lease agreement to ensure any costs for the property is paid if the tenant(s) fail to pay. This money is returned in part or in full depending on the condition of the apartment after the tenant(s) moves out.
  • Right of Entry – The legal regulations of how the property manager, landlord, or a representative may enter the occupied property. Whether it is to perform repairs or to show the property to new tenants.
  • Amenities – The features and extras that come with renting or leasing the property. (i.e. free access to an onsite gym, pool access, rent payments include utilities, etc.)
  • Term – The duration of a lease or rental agreement.
  • Eviction – The legal process to remove the tenant(s) from an apartment or property for violation of the rental or lease agreement.
  • Sublease - An agreement between the current tenant and a new tenant to take over responsibility of the current lease agreement. The approval of the landlord or the property manager is required prior.
  • Escalator clause - Is a clause in a lease or contract that guarantees a change in the agreement price once a particular factor beyond control of either party affecting the value has been determined. Like an increase of utility rates.
  • Lease Guarantee – A clause in the rental or lease agreement that guarantees the rent payments will be made. Usually this will require that the tenant provide a cosigner, who will agree to take over payments if the tenant fails to make payments.


The Penn State Abington Off-Campus Housing Information provides Penn State Abington students with information on apartments and rentals in the area. This information is provided as a resource only. Penn State University does not solicit, select, promote, or investigate these facilities. The University assumes no responsibility or liability for the personal safety of student renters, loss or damage to personal property, or the arbitration of disputes between students and property owner. Interested persons should thoroughly investigate each opportunity before entering into an agreement with a leaser.