Jun 4, 2019
So let's talk about your rental lease... Where did you get yours? Did you download it from some random site on the Internet located by searching Google for keywords like "rental lease agreement"? Did you buy it at Office Depot or Staples? Or did you go the professional route and pay an attorney to create a custom lease specific to you and your rental property?
First, I don't recommend going the random Internet search route. I also wouldn't buy or use a lease from anywhere, unless it is indicated and confirmed to be written specially for your state. I'm in North Carolina, and the Landlord / Tenant Laws here (and thus how a lease must be written to comply with them) are certainly not going to be the same for you in some other state. You need a state specific lease.
So it would seem the best method would be to get a lease drawn up by an attorney in your local area who is knowledgeable of the Landlord / Tenant Laws and resulting lease requirements in your state... Right? Maybe, but not necessarily...
In this episode of the ... and Landlord! Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, entitled "#11 | Make Sure Your Lease Protects Your ASSets" - I speak on the topic of rental leases... Where I got mine. How and why I've customized it. And I provide examples of how I use my lease as both a sword and shield in the protection of my rental home assets; as well as, my rental property and property management businesses.
I give two locations (BiggerPockets.com & EZLandlordForms.com) - at which you can obtain state specific leases. The lease I use for all of my rental properties comes from EZLandlordForms.com - and I've then customized it to fit my specific needs, including adding and altering provisions to make the lease even better at protecting my rental home assets and businesses. Of course, I ran this lease by my attorney, along with any additions and changes that I've made. And the end result after 4 years is a document that speaks well to almost any scenario that occurs at one of my rental homes and for my rental property and property management businesses.
Likewise, in this episode I give tips to making sure you have the best possible lease in place to both help keep you OUT of court, and making your WIN (should you end up in court anyway) next to inevitable. And the most important part of that equation is staying OUT of court - so I provide details in making sure your tenant is fully informed as to the lease contents and your strict adherence to following this document in the handling of any and all issues.
I even go into details as to when, why and how to make an exception in handling things only as detailed in the lease. There needs to be room for reasonableness in your handling of matters, even when you are fully within your rights according to the lease and law. Yes, the lease can be your sword - but "he who lives by the sword, also dies by the sword." - so be reasonable with your tenants and your handling of matters, as that may also work in your favor should you ever end up in court. You don't want to be in front of a judge looking like the unreasonable party or a bully.
In short, rental property is an asset that comes with certain risks - so this episode is all about making sure your lease protects your ASSets as best possible.