What is a lease or rental agreement?
When the landlord has decided to rent to the tenant and the tenant has chosen to rent from the landlord, they will enter into a lease or rental agreement. These are contracts, either written or oral, in which the landlord grants to the tenant exclusive possession of a premises in exchange for rent for a period of time.
Can leases be negotiated?
Yes. Leases are not written in stone, even though standard forms may seem that way.
Most standard leases are written by lawyers who favor landlords. Tenants should try to remove clauses they do not like. They should try to add conditions that they want, such as the right to own pets or to have the landlord paint the premises.
Likewise, of the scores of standard forms available, none is likely to meet the needs of every landlord. Some fail to spell out which utility services the tenant pays for and which ones the landlord pays. Others fail to allow the landlord the right ever to enter the premises without the consent of the tenants. Landlords have as much right as the tenants to alter the lease terms to cover such things.
How should the tenant or the landlord change the lease if either doesn't like certain clauses?
If either one can persuade the other to remove a particular provision, that provision should be marked out in ink on all copies. The marked-out sections should then be initialed by both the landlord and the tenant.
Many preprinted forms contain large blank spaces for the landlord and tenant to write additional agreements, which become part of the lease. These inserted paragraphs should be initialed by both landlord and tenant. If the spaces are absent or are too small, the additional terms should be written on a separate sheet of paper and signed by both the landlord and tenant.
Believe it or not you can have a real estate agent negotiate the terms of a lease for you as well. Many real estate agents have a great deal of negotiating experience and can provide you with a wealth of knowledge that could save you time, money and prevent a lot of frustration.
Call 404-803-0483 to find out how a real estate agent can help you find a great rental home and negotiate a great lease today!