Protect yourself from liability with an attorney review of your lease

Should you have a lawyer take a look over your lease before you give it to your tenant? This is a great idea and will save you potential legal costs and headache in the long run. You want to know for a fact that your lease is up to high standards and falls under every legality in order to protect you as a landlord. This is an important way to maintain a solid landlord-tenant relationship when you may not understand all of the laws that apply in your area in landlord & tenant law. 

Strict Laws Exist in Most States

When it comes to your state laws, in most cases the landlord & tenant law is quite strict. This also is the case when it comes to laws at the federal and local level. For this reason, you’ll need to be precise with the language and terms of your lease. It will benefit you greatly to have an attorney review this extensively prior to bringing or sending it to your new tenant.  

Benefits to Having a Lawyer Look at a Lease You Create 

Whether you’re putting together a lease for a residential or commercial property, don’t cut any corners. It’s worthwhile to have an expert on your side to have a look over all of the details to ensure that everything is in place to protect your assets and disclose your responsibilities as well as what’s the responsibility of your tenant(s). 

The following are the main aspects that your attorney will use to determine you have a good lease: 

  • In some instances, the lawyer may assist you in drafting the entire lease. If you have their help from the beginning, you should not have any issues with getting the details wrong and it should be a legally-binding document that will hold up in proceedings. 
  • When an attorney writes your lease agreement, you’ll have confidence that the lease covers your rights and that it complies with the federal, state, and local laws. 
  • It’s ideal to have a customized agreement drafted rather than a generic one that you find on the Internet since you’ll need it to reflect the particulars of your rental property and any specific expectations you have for your tenant. This can vary, though some expectations are not legal so it’s definitely in your best interest to discuss this with your lawyer. 
  • A landlord-tenant attorney also can review a lease agreement that you’ve written. Since many landlords don’t typically know legal terminology or the proper format, you’ve likely gotten a template online. This is perfectly fine, though you definitely want it to be tailored to reflect any local or state laws that may differ from what’s in the template. Even a more generic one without any glaring issues should be tweaked to your liking. 
  • You can use an editor program to change up some things and easily send it to your lawyer for them to look at it. Typos do happen, so they’ll check spelling of names, that the address is exact, that the rent amount is correct, and that any extra charges/fees such as the deposit and late fees are included. 
  • You can talk to your lawyer about penalties and actions that can be taken if the lease is broken. Gain an understanding of what will happen if it’s broken either by yourself or the tenant(s). This should be included in the lease in simple terms though you may also give references to legal code that they can read for more information. 

Even if you know that you want to have a more relaxed landlord-tenant relationship and not put any strain on people who are renting from you, you’ll be glad that you have firm expectations and a document to fall back on if any problems arise and you need to take legal action or have protection for yourself and your property. The fact that you have an attorney doesn’t make you a jerk or too strict, it just keeps you and your tenant staying on the right side of the law. People tend to be happier when they know what’s expected of them and have that structure of a legal document that makes for a more professional experience. 

Seek out assistance from one of the many attorneys specialized in helping landlords in your area today and you won’t regret it. They can provide you with a sense of confidence and reassurance that you’re making good choices. Create a lease that’s legally sound with a quality landlord-tenant attorney. 

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