T h e P l a c e To F i n d S o m e t h i n g S p e c i a l
Residential Leases: Read the Terms; Leases Are Contracts Too WRITTEN BY CHRISTIE TOURNET
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16 Sophisticated Woman | September 2018
TYPICALLY, WE RECOGNIZE that a real estate sale involves a myriad of legal considerations. However, owners and tenants often fail to carefully consider important, legal terms prior to signing a lease. Similar to a purchase agreement, a lease likewise requires careful consideration. For example, some customary provisions that require time, attention, and likely, negotiation, include: Rent. Generally, we know the rental fee to pay each month. However, is the rent actually due on the first day of the month? Or, is there a grace period? And, is there a per diem late fee? Also of importance, can you be considered in immediate default for late payment, or is written notice required? Security Deposit. What are the terms relative to your deposit? Return property with normal wear and tear expected? By the way, does “wear and tear” have the same meaning for both parties? We recommend that the owner and tenants do a walk through prior to occupancy and again at termination to formally document the premises’ condition and to clarify nuances. If you are the landlord, do you return the deposit or a damages statement within 30 days of vacancy? Sublease. If your circumstances change, are you permitted to sublet? Hold Harmless and Indemnity. Depending on whether you are the owner or the tenant, it is important to consider which warranties are afforded and which are waived. While most of us have entered into a lease at some point in our lives, we have likely also neglected to fully consider all these terms. But, a lease can have important consequences that catapult parties into litigation. Thus, we recommend carefully reviewing the entirety of your lease for these provisions, among others, and ask questions prior to signing.
Christie Tournet & Associates, LLC, provides estate planning, estate administration and commercial law services. The practice is located at 1795 W. Causeway Approach, Suite 103A in Mandeville. 985-951-2177, tournetlaw.com.