My question is, other than oil changes, is it necessary to do regular maintenance to a car before 36K miles. I can't remember what I have done with cars in the past early in the car's life. If a car doesn't make it to 36k miles, then it's probably not a very good car.
Read the owners manual, there is a lot of preventative maintenance/servicing to do before 36k miles. Leasing the vehicle doesn't change that, other than you might NOT be interested in doing the preventative maintenance/service, because you don't care.
I've never leased a vehicle, BUT, I would think the lease contract would state what your requirements and responsibilities would be for Maintenance/Servicing of the vehicle.
And if I was writing the contract, I would put in it, they you had to follow the Manufacturer's recommendation in the Owner's Manual for Servicing, and keep receipts and records of that servicing, OR be accessed a penalty if you did NOT do that.
Other than Oil and Air Filters, you don't service a car to get it to last to 36k miles, yes you are right, just oil and air filters should get you to 36k miles just fine. BUT, you service a car more than Oil and Air Filters to get it to last 150k miles or more.
The lease company has a big interest in seeing the vehicle last more than 36k miles, I would think they would do something like I suggested above, to protect their interest or get reimbursed if you're NOT doing your part.
BUT, I'm only guessing.
Read the lease, call the lease company and ask them. Talk to other people that have leased vehicles from the same company. People neglecting their vehicles are pretty common, I can't imagine you would be the first person to turn in a neglected vehicle on a lease. It comes down to what the Lease Company is going to do at the end of the lease
, are they going to just take the vehicle with a cursory inspection, OR are they going to ask for the records and receipts, do a thorough a mechanical inspection and send you a bill? Nows the time to find out from someone that knows for sure, and your Lease Paper Work should have all the answers, or at the very least, point you in the right direction to get the answers.