BEFORE You Rent!

Renting or leasing out property seems like it should be a relatively easy process. But in reality, when something goes wrong-and it often does-people aren’t always sure what to do.

Whether you are a landlord experiencing problems from your renter, or it’s the other way around, seeking the advice of a real estate lawyer can help you to resolve many different issues.

Having a written contract is, of course, advisable. But even when you have a signed legal contract, the actual process of getting an individual out of your property can be lengthy and confusing.

And what if there is no written contract? Is a verbal contract legally binding? What are the differences?

When owners rent out their property, they have certain expectations of the renter. And these expectations need to be included in the written contract. While standard rental documents are available at most office supplies stores, they are not necessarily ideal.

Since standard contracts don’t include the specifics about your personal rental situation, it is highly advisable to consult a real estate lawyer before you rent.

Getting legal assistance prior to renting ensures your rental contract will include the specific clauses necessary to provide you with legal support should the contract be broken by either party.

There are many common legal matters an experienced real estate law firm can help you with concerning rental properties:

· Ejectment Proceedings

· Eviction Proceedings

· Foreclosures

· Lease Disputes

· Non-Compliance and Default Disputes

· Non-Payment Disputes

· Security Deposit Disputes

Two Examples of Rental Disputes

Even when you have a solid legally binding contract in place, interpreting statutes in your state can be difficult. Take, for example, the following two scenarios:

A man wants to sublease his apartment because he is going overseas for six months. When he shows the apartment, the would be renter expresses concern about the closed-down gas station that is next to the bedroom window because strong odors trigger migraines. He tells her to his knowledge, it will not re-open. She signs his general rental agreement. Three weeks later, the gas station re-opens and the girl moves out because she can’t function due to the migraines caused by the constant smell of gas.

She sues the man for the return of her deposit. Will she get her money back? Because the man did not include a clause about the gas station and she had expressed concerns about it, does that give her grounds to file suit?

A woman allows her adult son to move in to her house. No rental contract is signed, naturally. Skip three months ahead and the son is completely living off of his mother. The son has paid for absolutely nothing. The mother wants her son to move out, but he keeps putting her off.

Can the mother evict her son whereby the authorities physically remove him from said premises? Does the fact that he is her son make a difference in a court of law?

Someone with knowledge of rental statutes in your state and experience dealing with these kind of disputes can advise you properly.

Sometimes having a signed contract just isn’t enough. You are much better off consulting an experienced real estate lawyer before signing a contact to make sure you are fully informed on the many “what ifs” associated with renting property.

A conversation with a professional will ensure specific clauses are included for your specific rental situation. Having a contract reviewed in advance can save you money as well as provide you with security and peace of mind.