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When Doing Your Own Rental or Lease Agreement Don't Miss The Details

Aug 17, 2007
When renting or leasing rental property you should take into consideration many different factors. First think about everything that is important to you. You should address everything that is important to you to the smallest of details. For example do you care if the tenant smokes ? Do you care if they play loud music at 2 a.m. ? Do mind if they use your apartment for prostitution business? What if they use your property to grow marijuana plants ? Or perhaps they store used motor parts that leak oil and other fluids. These are big issues for most people, but there are also little ones that may be important to you.

There are also issues which you might not consider, because you think everyone uses common sense. Usually people use common sense, but even those that appear the be normal can have their moments of insanity. For example a husband and wife team rented an office space that they accidently set on fire after attempting to cook some fish on a BBQ grill. People do not always use common sense, there have been incidents of people dying after using a mixture of ammonia, bleach and other chemicals to clean the bathrooms. I know of one incident where a woman passed out after mixing household chemicals. She was hospitalized and then upon release she went to finish the job and died.

Regardless of whether the property is residential or commercial property the same is true for each when addressing your concerns. The laws differ between commercial and residential property and even within each of these categories there are subcategories. The laws for example may differ between an apartment, a house, a condo, a mobile home, and a boat home. Despite these differences, you can still account for things that are important to you and add them to your lease or rental agreement.

Some people attempt to save money by using pre-printed forms and then add their provisions, or prepare their own lease or rental agreement completely from scratch, but you should consider using an attorney especially if there is a substantial amount of money involved. If do you the lease agreement yourself be sure you say it correctly and avoid any ambiguity. If there is a chance for a different interpretation than your own, you may have trouble down the road. Write the provisions down and then review it a few days later to be sure they still make sense to you. I have received many phone calls from people in trouble after the fact. The best thing is to do it right the first time, so speak to an attorney first.

If there is a problem during the tenancy, be sure to address it quickly. If you need to evict someone for non payment of rent, do it quickly. Give the three day notice to quit or pay or whatever is required in your particular state. Make sure you dot the i-s and cross the T-s and date and sign every document you prepare correctly. Unlawful detainers are very detail sensitive and you may have to start from scratch if you make an error. This could result in an additional moth of lost rental income. If you are dependant on the rental income to make your mortgage payments, you cannot afford to make any errors, so once again hire an attorney, spend the money now, in the long run it will be cheaper.

You should not try and save money by doing everything yourself, unless you are willing to take a loss of several months. Also do not try and save money by hiring a paralegal or someone that prepares documents, they tend to make errors. I have had at least one case where it was started by paralegal, but the mistakes cost the client almost two moths rental income.

For a sample lease agreement visit my website and look at the additional consideration section where I added all the things that where of concern to me.
About the Author
Free Sample Lease Agreement in Articles Section of
San Diego Overtime Attorney Arnold Hernandez
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