Experienced Lease Lawyers
Lease agreements are some of the most ubiquitous forms of real estate paperwork, but they are also some of the easiest to get wrong. Without proper legal support, landlords might be tempted to use generic lease agreements found online. But, while some of these templates may provide a good starting point to draft a lease, they are not tailored to the specific needs of the landlord and the type of rental property in question. The result is shoddy legal paperwork that’s likely to lead to disputes between the landlord and tenant — or worse, legal action.
To stay clear from landlord-tenant disputes, contact our lease attorneys in Asheville, NC, to help you draft a proper lease agreement tailored to your needs. We’ll make sure your lease agreement abides by the latest federal, state, and local laws, while only including the provisions you request.
What Are Lease Agreements?
A lease is a legally-binding document that details the terms and conditions for renting a property. The document outlines the responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant, such as the amount of rent to be paid as well as the length of the agreement. In the event that the landlord or tenant break any term of the lease, the document is no longer legally binding. The offending party may be subject to legal action and a penalty for breach of contract.
Common Lease Provisions
Residential lease agreements may include a wide variety of provisions depending on the landlord’s wishes and limitations of local law, they usually include information about the following.
- Property Description
- Term Length
- Rent Due Date
- Late Fee Policy
- Pet Policy
- Landlord Access Conditions
- Security Deposit Amount
- Utility Responsibilities
- Household Size Limits
- Subleasing Conditions
Illegal & Unenforceable Lease Provisions
While lease and rental agreements can both be written contracts, the provisions included in them are not always enforceable or even legal. In particular, any provisions that violate federal law — such as requirements that discriminate tenants of a particular race, gender, or nationality — violate the law and may be subject to legal action. The following include some common illegal provisions found in generic, poorly-written lease agreements.
- Agreements that landlord can repossess the property if the tenant is late with the rent
- Agreements allowing the landlord to enter the property at any time, without warning
- Agreements that tenant will pay for all damages, regardless of fault
Lease Vs. Rental Agreements
Although they are often used interchangeably in conversation, there are significant differences between a lease and a rental agreement. The main distinction between the two has to do with the length of tenancy. A rental contract provides short-term tenancy — usually 30 days. A lease, on the other hand, provides tenancy for a long period of time — usually 6–12 months.
In regards to contract renewal, rental agreements are automatically renewed at the end of the set period unless the tenant and landlord agree to end the tenancy early. A lease, on the other hand, is not automatically renewed.
Another key difference has to do with contract changes. Landlords may change the terms of the rental agreement as long as they provide proper notice to their tenants. For leases, however, landlords may not change the terms of the agreement unless the tenant agrees to the changes.
Lease Lawyers In Asheville, NC
Many landlords use generic lease agreements in the hopes of saving time and money. However, using a jargon-laden template that is not tailored to the tenancy in question can lead to costly disputes between the tenant and landlord. Our lease lawyers can help you draft a lease agreement that only includes the provisions you actually need while avoiding any additional legal-jargon or illegal provisions that might compromise your rental business.
Contact us today to request a free case consultation.