Issues arise when a tenant does not act as you expect. This may mean that they do not pay their rent on time, or at all, they stay in the apartment past an agreed upon time, they become a nuisance to you or other tenants, etc. The best way to deal with potential issues is to outline what is expected of the tenant from the starting point. How best to do that? A WRITTEN LEASE!
A lease is a formal written contract outlining the agreement between a landlord and tenant, such as the lease beginning and end date, rent and other monies due from tenant, other obligations of tenant, landlord’s obligations, landlord’s rights if the tenant does follow the agreement, etc. Many landlords feel that they want to be easygoing and shake hands to commemorate an agreement; however, when there is an issue down the line and you want to enforce your rights, a handshake will not help you win your case in court. A lease should cover as many situations as possible.
Remember too that if a landlord makes a verbal handshake agreement to add to change a part of a lease, landlords run the risk of not being able to prove their case. Overall, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep it simple, keep it in writing, make every transaction formal and businesslike so as to protect yourself and be successful if an issue arises.
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The content in this document is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice or an offer to perform services on this subject matter. Contact Visci & Associates to schedule a consultation at our offices in New York and New Jersey.