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Lease Agreements

How does a Lease Agreement Protect you?

You should be ready to enter into a lease agreement when you first list your property for rent.

A lease agreement is a legal contract that outlines the responsibilities of the owner and tenant for a specific property. A lease agreement provides details of the obligations both parties agreed to fulfill during the term of the agreement. Should it be necessary, a court will generally hold both parties to the terms of the lease.

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Lease agreements can be writen or oral, but it is very difficult to substantiate the terms of a verbal lease. Once you begin accepting rent payments, you will have entered into an oral agreement and the tenant will have certain rights based on the states laws. It is always best to have a written lease that includes the terms most important to you before a tenant takes posession of your property.

Each state has different laws on key components of a lease agreement such as security deposits, right to entry and eviction notices. If you are not sure about your states laws, you may mistakenly include terms in your lease agreement that are not legal. Make sure you check with your state legislature on statutes governing rental properties.

If a tenant significantly violates any of the terms in your lease agreement such as non payment of rent, you can seek eviction and end the lease with the tenant. Generally a landlord will be required to post a notice in an effort to get the tenant to comply. The tenant can either resolve the dispute, or if the notice is not acted upon, the landlord can seek eviction of the tenant from the property.

While eviction may be a worst case senerio, by having a writen lease agreement in place you can use the power of the courts to enforce your terms. Many times this can be resovled without ever going to court.

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