Importance of the Lease Signing Process
Both landlords and tenants are very aware of the importance of a lease. However, making sure that tenants understand the practical aspects of various parts of the lease can make a lot of difference if or when various issues arise. Communication break-downs in general cause a lot of issues – so it pays to take the time to make sure everyone is “on the same page” at the signing of the lease.
Some of the key areas that create challenges seem to be:
- Contact information – make sure everyone has the correct phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses. If things change – make sure to update the other party as soon as possible. Also, while it’s important to talk to each other at certain times – where necessary, make sure to confirm important things in writing.
- Repairs – make sure that everyone understands what the policy on repairs is. Who’s responsible for making and paying the repair – and what’s an emergency repair – and what isn’t.
- Rent payments – make sure everyone understand how things are handled when the rent isn’t received when it is due. What are the costs and the consequences. How are evictions handled and again, what are the implications to having an eviction on one’s record.
- “As is” – are there any improvements that the landlord/owner is responsible for – or has agreed to make. If so – make sure it is very clear prior to and at the lease signing. Otherwise, properties are normally rented “as is.”
- Breaking a lease – “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” – in other words, things change and sometimes a lease needs to be broken. If this is the case, the landlord/owner and the tenants working closely together can substantially limit financial loss to an owner and costs to a tenant.