A lease is a contractual agreement made by one property owner to sign over the property to another user to use over a period, in exchange for money repayments.
Although this sounds quite simple to understand and the agreement itself is easy to follow through and shake hands on. There are many things to consider when leasing or signing a house lease to avoid issues in the future.
Many property lawyers will acknowledge that although a lease process can be managed as efficiently as possible, there are still some pitfalls that can occur when careful attention is not paid before signing a lease contract.
Some issues with leasing include:
- Damaged areas on the property
- Failure to meet tenant rights
- Loopholes in a contractual agreement
- Poor payment methods
These are only a few issues that may occur during and after the leasing process. That is why property lawyers have encouraged many to consider multiple things before signing a house lease, so there is a lesser risk of running into problems.
Five things to ask/consider before signing a house lease:
- Is the premise for me?: Tenants should always when looking for a place to lease, consider if their chosen property will suit their lifestyle and needs, is it within a good radius and location to work/school, is there enough space, does the property require regular maintenance and upkeep? These lifestyle questions should be considered before making any lease commitment.
- How secure am I?: Tenants should always consider how secure they are within their property. If the first deposit is substantial, tenants must determine whether they are eligible to request a reduction in deposits for good behaviour or not, before signing a house lease. Payments need to be mutually agreed upon and consistent to ensure all requirements and needs are satisfied.
- Can I change my mind before my lease term ends?: Read the contract, details and all clauses provided in the lease agreement to ensure that it features an ‘Out-clause’. This enables you to have the flexibility to change your mind before your lease term ends if you wanted to move or leave your premises before the lease term ends, without any hassles or issues. This clause will provide the number of notice days needed before moving out. Make sure this agreement is written in the contract before you commit to a lease signing to ensure that you are backed-up in case of a last-minute decision.
- Are maintenance and repairs taken care of?: You must determine whether or not your agreement states who is responsible for any necessary maintenance and repairs to the property. There can be issues with a tenant arriving on the property and discovering that there needs to be urgent upkeep and repair that wasn’t seen at first inspection. Issues can arise between who is responsible for repairing and maintaining roofing, tiling, heating and cooling etc. so ensure that the contract specifically indicates who is responsible for the repairs area of things before making the lease commitment.
- Does the agreement outline all the details that satisfy me?: When looking at the bigger picture, it is very important for a tenant to consider whether they are completely satisfied with the overall agreement and all the details before signing on the dotted line. Tenants should consider whether the agreement correctly outlines payment plans, any pet policies, amendments, out-clauses, maintenance and repairs, and you must also comprehend if the operating expenses and real estate taxes are suited to you, before signing the house lease.
With these things to consider, it is also crucial for a tenant to maintain regular communication with their property lawyer throughout the leasing of a house and the lease process, to ensure that all information is conveyed and received effectively.
Property lawyers and landlords, before making any lease contract always take into consideration the needs of their tenants and their rights always take precedence when signing any new lease.
In the leasing process, landlords have the authority to manage the lease contract and ensure that all the necessary requirements and conditions are outlined in the contract. The landlord can also request the tenant to have permission to view the house before signing. This can only happen if the contract is in writing.
Before signing a house lease it is important for the tenant to assess and evaluate the relationship they have with their landlord.
Key things to consider with the tenant/landlord relationship before signing a house lease:
- Is there a fixed duration on sale period? Is there a possibility for a rent reduction if the tenant is indicating good behaviour and a positive repayment track record?
- Will your landlord offers a term of free rent if you wish to leave before the end of a fixed-term until the house is sold?: Do you have enough of a trust factor in your property relationship that these types of agreements can be added into the lease?
- Is there freedom of communication between tenant and your landlord?: Before making any lease agreement you have to assess whether or not you are able to remain in regular contact with your landlord to ensure that all needs and requirements listed in the lease contract are consistently being met for both parties.
There are many factors to consider and assess when thinking of signing a house lease, each of which are very important and crucial in not only ensuring that the written contract details are being met, but to also ensure a happy living space for you and positive relationship with your property lawyer and landlord all throughout the lease process.
November 12, 2019