Free Lease Agreement Review: – There are two forms on this site, simply designated Lease Agreement and Lease Agreement II. The first one is clearly intended for Pennsylvania, using terms such as township which won’t be common in most states. It also calls for both a deposit and last month’s rent (nice if you can get it, but many markets won’t go for that). Additionally it says the landlord is taking responsibility for water and garbage, so you’ll want to change that unless you want to pay those (and there is specific language about what days garbage is picked up that you’ll need to adjust or drop). One big problem is it says the landlord will take care of “necessary repairs” without defining what is necessary, or who gets to determine what is necessary. What the landlord and tenant think is necessary are going to be different things without written guidance. You’ll have to clean up this language. Section 13 allows the landlord to enter at any time without notice; again in most locations this is illegal, no matter what is agreed to in a lease. Forcible entry is not something you hear about often, but as a landlord/property manager you don’t want to be found guilty of it! Best to adjust this language to the specifics of notice and entry allowed by law in your location. Section 14 waives the notice to quit (giving the landlord the right to take possession any time there is a breach like failure to pay). I don’t know of anywhere that is legal (again, in spite of what is agreed to in a lease). In most locations acting on section 14 would be considered constructive eviction by the court, and the judge would likely be disinclined towards showing you any mercy. Be very, very careful on section 14. If you really want to keep it in, you need to ask an attorney if it’s possible in your location. Otherwise this lease does have some of the clauses you would want: severability, successors, entire agreement, but is missing some like remedies cumulative and choice of law and the sublet prohibition clause is entirely too weak. On whole, not the worst I’ve seen, but a few serious issues have to be addressed before it’s usable.

Lease Agreement II looks remarkably like one that used to come with one of those “nothing down” get rich packages people ordered on TV in droves in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. Maybe that’s just a coincidence. This agreement does a good job of covering the clauses you want to see in a lease, including a few you seldom see anywhere else but are helpful, like failure to deliver possession and subordination to mortgagor. It covers most typical rules and regulations, though you’ll likely think of a few to add. The only glaring weakness is section 13 which grants the landlord right to enter at any time without notice. As we’ve seen on other leases, this is likely void under the law in most locations. There can be an emergency clause (can enter in case of emergency) and argue about whether it was an emergency later, but any right of entry clause needs to specify how the tenant will be notified of the entry, and needs to conform to the law. For example, in my location if it’s not an emergency we must give 48 hours notice of entry – it doesn’t matter what’s agreed to in the lease. Other than that, this is a solid form that with just a little tweaking to meet your specific needs, is a good starting point.

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