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What Makes A Lease Agreement Legal?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Landlords are required to follow certain regulations while preparing leases. It ensures that the lease agreement is valid and binding. Though state regulations may vary about details, there are many general guidelines that property owners must follow if they wish to set up a legitimate lease contract.

In most states, leases need to be in writing to be valid. Verbal leases and agreements are difficult to impose because there is no evidence of what the actual contract was, and misunderstandings can happen since both parties had another interpretation of the terms of the agreement. For example, if you and your tenant have a verbal contract regarding the day he is to pay his rent and he does not pay on the first day of the month since he believed the contract was that he's got up until the 15th of every month, it is difficult to evict him. Get all important facets of the lease in writing to protect yourself towards difficulties caused by these kinds of misunderstandings.

State rules fluctuate with regards to technical needs, such as what fonts and font sizes the lease may be printed in and what size paper the lease needs to be printed on. However, in general all leases must be written in a font size that the property owner could reasonably expect a tenant to be able to read. For instance, leases must not be written in fonts that are lower than 8 points in size because that makes them not easy to read through. Property owners need to use everyday language that the tenant can understand, and the lease should be written in a language that the renter can comprehend. For instance, if a Spanish-speaking tenant knows just a few words of English, his lease must be written in Spanish.

In case any terms of a lease are incompatible with state regulations, those terms are unenforceable due to the fact that landlords cannot demand renters to do something against the law to fulfill the conditions of the lease. For example, if a lease states that a tenant must pay three months lease as a late charge if he is about 5 days late on his lease, that provision is probably unenforceable. In many states, late fees are limited to a percentage of that month's rent. It's also against the law for land lords to demand renters to stay childless or single or intervene with the tenant's right to have law suit if the property manager breaches the lease.

Similarly, the landlord must provide specific details in the lease. The lease needs to plainly state the address and name of both parties, how much lease will be paid monthly, what exactly the tenant's other duties are about the apartment and what exactly the procedure is if the tenant doesn't want to renew his lease or wishes to move just before his rent term is up. Landlords have a responsibility in many states to make sure that tenants understand these conditions just before requesting them to sign. Both parties must sign the lease for it to become valid, but neither party must be compelled to sign under duress, and being required to sign a document he doesn't understand will constitute a signature under duress.

DISCLAIMER: This content provides basic details and doesn't constitute legal counsel. If you have specific questions about lease rules in your state, remember to speak to a lawyer licensed to practice in that state to make certain that you receive the most relevant information for your case.



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