Do I need an attorney for a lease agreement?


Moving into a new apartment or another rental home can be a very exciting time. While this can commemorate moving out on your own, going to a new city, or getting a fresh start, it can be a big commitment. In practically all cases, you will need to sign a lease. While it is not technically required for you to do so, it may be a good idea for you to have an attorney review your lease for you. There are several reasons that you should have an attorney review a lease for you.

Review for Unusual Tenant Requirements

One of the main reasons that you should have a landlord review our lease is to make sure that you are aware of what your obligations are when it comes to renting the property. In the majority of situations, a landlord should be responsible for all major repairs and a lot of routine maintenance. However, a tenant may have some requirements that need to be met. This can include requiring you to take care of the lawn, handle snow removal, replace appliance filters, and keep the property clean. The landlord will ensure you are aware of these requirements, and you can assess whether they are tasks you can and are willing to handle.

Ensures Lease is in Local Compliance

Depending on the city that you are moving to, there can be specific codes and rules in place that need to be followed when it comes to lease requirements and property management. Your real estate attorney will be able to review the lease to ensure it is in compliance with these requirements. If there are pieces that are missing, they can notify the landlord and ensure that they are included in the lease.

Ensures Typical Landlord Requirements are Covered

When you are going to rent a property from someone else, the property owner typically is required to ensure they are providing you with a safe, clean, and habitable place to live. To do this, the landlord will usually need to handle various different maintenance and repair tasks. The lease you sign should clearly indicate what maintenance and repair obligations that the landlord has. This should also include provisions that determine when repairs or maintenance need to take place after you have notified the property owner or management service.

Review What Happens in Default

When both a property owner and a tenant are going to enter into a new lease agreement, both sides of the document will likely have the best intentions to comply with all of their requirements. These requirements can include paying rent on time, handling maintenance responsibilities, and comply with other terms. The lease should clearly identify what can cause a default and what the next actions are. It should highlight what needs to happen to declare a default, what the default cure period is, and what the ultimate penalty can be. Your attorney will review these provisions to ensure they are fair and give you a proper opportunity to cure a default while also helping to enforce the landlord’s responsibilities.

End of Lease Provisions

While the date you sign and start your lease is a very exciting time, the most important part of any lease agreement could be when the lease comes to an end. There are a lot of factors to think about when it comes to lease term maturities and terminations. This can include what is required for a renewal notice when you need to move out of the rental property, what your requirements are in terms of cleaning and repairs, and what the timeline is to have a security deposit returned. Your real estate attorney will ensure that you are aware of these provisions and that they are in line with the market.

Right to Privacy

Your attorney will also ensure that your rights to privacy are outlined in the lease. While a landlord will own the property, they are leasing it to the tenant for their full use. If the landlord needs to come to the property for any purpose, they need to do so with proper notice. Your attorney will review the lease to ensure there are specific notice provisions in place and that they are reasonable.

Lease Negotiations

The majority of the time, a residential lease will be very boilerplate and there will not be a need for negotiations. However, if your attorney notices something unusual in the lease, they may be able to provide support to have certain points changed. Your attorney can quickly draft the amendment and discuss the changes with the landlord. This could help you enter into a more favorable lease agreement and avoid scenarios in which you are caught off-guard. They can further help with any lease modifications or renewals you may have in the future.

When you are going to move into a new home, you are going to have to sign a lease. It is important that you carefully review any lease agreement before you sign as they can contain provisions that you are not aware of. Due to this, you should have your attorney review the lease agreement first. When you work with the attorneys at Dickson Frohlich in the Tacoma area, you will receive a full professional review and consultation to ensure you are signing a good lease and that there are no provisions to be concerned with.

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