Last modified on January 6th, 2016
By Aimee Miller
Lease Agreements can be tricky documents. A poorly written lease exposes you to surprise loopholes that can allow a tenant to end a lease early. There are legal ways to break a lease that cannot be entirely written out of a lease agreement, but writing a smart and tight lease agreement makes breaking a lease harder and averts a sudden vacancy on your hands or significant legal fees.
Follow the 3 tips below to write a lease agreement that is free of tricky loopholes and will keep you protected.
- Know The Law.
Every state and many major cities have different (and often complex) laws concerning property management and tenant rights. Familiarize yourself with your local laws so you know exactly what must be included in the lease and what can be excluded. Knowing the law is one of the most important things you can do when writing a lease. The law heavily favors tenants, so knowing your rights is critical to writing a tight lease. To establish a good foundation for a lease, do your research and hire a lawyer to iron out any complex clauses.
- Make It Clear.
The laws you put into your lease are typically written in confusing legalese. Writing in clear and simple language, as much as you can, keeps you and your tenants on the same the page. Anything you add yourself that is unique to your property must be extremely clear for it to stand up in court.
- Clearly State The Rent Payment Agreement.
It is very important to note the exact cost of rent and due date in the lease to avoid any misunderstandings. This includes explaining how you deal with the laws regarding withholding rent. For example, in most states, it is legal to withhold rent if your apartment lacks proper heating. To safeguard your business in an emergency, you could consider adding a clause guaranteeing the availability of space heaters (assuming you allow them) during heat loss to avoid losing rent to this law.
The loopholes in lease agreements can cause unneeded stress and difficulties to the job of property management. Follow the three tips above so that you and your tenants will be clear on the lease agreement details, and on each others’ rights. Your building owner clients and your tenants will thank you.