You know that fine print at the end of any helpful ‘how to’ page that can guide you along advice with legal documents or issues that states, Always consult a professional before moving forward? This information is not only useful in sticky situations, to make sure that what you’re signing or distributing is accurate, but also in lease agreements.
A simple online search for ‘ free rental lease agreements’ will give you a multitude of free examples, but unfortunately, these writers do not know all of the details of your current situation and rental unit. What are some common problems with these cookie-cutter rental lease agreements?
- They may actually not be legally sound advice
- Each state has different laws and regulations, which may not apply to your situation
- The agreement may have been drafted too long ago, and laws are continuously changing
If you’re not worried about all of those issues, think about the true purpose for your lease agreement. What if you have to evict your tenant? What if your tenant finds something in your standard lease agreement that isn’t legal? These pieces of paper are for your protection when things go wrong, not right.
How should you go about drafting a proper lease agreement? We have a few legal and proper suggestions!
- Hire an attorney – The best advice we can give you with rental lease agreements is to always consult an attorney that works with homes in your city or state. This way you’ll know that anything drafted will be current, correct, and they will keep you informed of any issues you may not have considered.
- Search through reputable legal websites – If an attorney is not in your budget, there are a few online areas to look, outside of just a normal Google search. State specific lease agreements that are legal can be found at the following sites:
- Download from property software – If you are managing your properties through one of the many software that are designed for real estate professionals, you may find that they offer rental lease agreements through their program. If it is reputable software that you purchased to manage your rental homes, this may be a great way to find a simple lease agreement.
Overall, the key item you are looking for in any lease agreement is that it is state specific, and even city specific, if necessary. Anything that looks too generic or good-to-be-true, probably is.