Getting the Most out of Your Car and Your Business – Understanding Lease Terms

Leasing has become one of the most popular ways for people to acquire the use of high-cost items. Car leases and commercial leases are the two most popular types of leases. Here is a description of what they are and their most popular types.

A lease is a contract by which one party conveys land, property, services, auto, etc., to another for a specified time, usually in return for a periodic payment. The receiving party is called the lessee and the conveying party is called the lessor.

Property Leases

Property rental is always managed by a lease agreement. The tenant, in this case, is the lessee, and the landlord is the lessor. A lease typically guarantees that the lessee pays a specific amount of rent to the landlord for a specific number of years or months. The landlord agrees to provide the property in a specified condition, and under terms of the contract and the tenant agrees to pay the amount and follow the terms and conditions as specified in the contract. If either party does not hold up their end of the contract, there are consequences. There are two types of standard property leases:

  • Gross Lease: A gross lease typically means that the landlord pays for the building’s property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. It can, however, be modified so that the tenant pays for specific expenses such as utility bills. This type of lease can be erratic for tenants and needs to be reviewed carefully because often a landlord will overvalue costs to ensure all bills associated with the property are covered.
  • Net Lease: There are several different types of net leases. For example, a triple net lease means that the tenant has to pay for taxes, insurance, and maintenance in addition to rent. A double net lease only requires the tenant to pay taxes and insurance on top of rent, and a net lease means the tenant has to pay some or all of the taxes, insurance or maintenance. These leases allow the tenant to have some control over costs associated with the property (water, electric, etc.) and can often save the tenant some monthly costs. But again a tenant needs to be careful about calculating its overall cost.

Car Leases

More and more people are choosing to lease rather than purchase their automobile. Car leases typically run 36, 48, 60 or 72 months, allow the lessee to drive a certain amount of miles per year, and at the end of the term, the car is returned to the lessor. Leasing is available for both new and used cars. There are two types of car leases generally available:

  1. Closed End: A closed-end lease is by far the most popular type of car lease. It allows lessees to return a vehicle at the end of the lease and either walk away or buy the vehicle for a pre-arranged amount. Unless there is physical damage to the car, excessive wear and tear or the agreed upon mileage allowance in the lease agreement exceeded, there are no additional charges due. All car manufacturers and many leasing companies offer closed-end leases for cars.
  2. Residual Obligation (Open End): An open-end lease carries the risk for the Lessee. The vehicle is leased and the lessee makes scheduled payments like in a closed-end lease. These payments are calculated based on the estimated value of the car when it will be returned. If the car’s value is less than estimated, the lessee must make up the difference when the car is returned. Open-end leases may have smaller monthly payments, but again there is a risk that there will be a lump sum payment (or additional monthly payments) due when the car is returned. The complexity of this calculation makes this type of lease substantially less popular than a closed-end lease

Leases are legally binding contracts and consumers should always fully understand the terms of a lease agreement before signing it.

Israel to lease firefighting airplanes

Israel will lease firefighting airplanes from Canada as it waits to purchase six new ones from the country at a cost of $200 million.

The new firefighter airplanes under construction in Canada will be ready in about two years, according to the CBC. The leased planes will be flown by Canadian pilots.

The $200 million deal, which includes the planes and other equipment, was agreed upon Monday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Canadian Defense Minister Peter Gordon MacKay during the latter’s visit to Israel, according to reports.

The squadron reportedly will be named the Elad Squadron, in honor of Elad Riven, the 16-year-old fire brigade volunteer who was the youngest victim of the Carmel fire.

The Carmel fire broke out Dec. 2 and took four days to get under control. Forty-four people were killed in the blaze, which burned 12,000 acres of land, consumed 5 million trees, and destroyed or severely damaged 250 homes. At least a dozen countries in the Middle East and Europe, and the United States, sent fire equipment and volunteers to assist in putting out the blaze.

Israeli pilots will be trained on the use of the planes before delivery, according to reports.

MacKay also is scheduled to visit the Palestinian Authority and Jordan this week.

Diaspora rabbis urge Israeli colleagues to speak out on rental ruling

Over 750 rabbis and cantors of all denominations signed a letter urging their Israeli colleagues to speak out against a ruling by 39 municipal rabbis banning renting to non-Jews.

“The recent halakhic ruling from community rabbis in Israel that forbids leasing apartments to non-Jews has caused great shock and pain in our communities,” said the letter, initiated by the New Israel Fund. “The attempt to root discriminatory policies based on religion or ethnicity in Torah is a painful distortion of our tradition.”

The letter, open for two days for signatures and released on Tuesday, concludes: “For the sake of our people, our Torah, and Israel, we beseech you to take a strong public stand and oppose those who misrepresent our tradition.”

Signatories include rabbis and cantors from the Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox streams, including Rabbi Marc D. Angel, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Shearith Israel, the historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York City; Rabbi Michael Lerner editor of Tikkun, a progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine based in Berkeley, California; Rabbi Leonard S. Levin, Jewish Theological Seminary Of America; Rabbi Rachel Cowan, director of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality; and Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the first woman to become a Reconstructionist rabbi when she was ordained in 1974.

The bulk of the signatories are from the United States, with significant numbers from Canada and Britain and a smattering from small communities.

A number of rabbinical leaders in Israel have condemned the original ruling as has Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli attorney general is looking into whether the rabbis who ruled against renting to non-Jews broke the law in their capacity as government employees.