The DIY Lease Can Cost You
Most of my new landlord/tenant clients contact me because something has gone wrong with their rental property. Usually, it’s because a tenant has stopped paying rent or there’s been “an incident” at the property.
I ask two initial questions. First, “Do you have a lease?” Second, “Was it drafted by an attorney?”
More often than not, the answer to that second question is, “No.”
Maybe you have a form lease you borrowed from a friend. Perhaps you have a document picked up at an office supply store. Or, most common these days, you cobbled something together from examples you found on the Internet. While your lease may look impressive, as with most things, you are probably getting what you pay for.
These free or low-cost forms have many problems. Including:
- They are not customized to your specific property or needs;
- They are generic in nature and do not take into account the laws of the state of Florida;
- The forms are woefully out of date and do not take into consideration changing laws.
Using a bad lease could end up costing you thousands of dollars in legal fees and lost rent down the line when you end up in litigation with a problem tenant.
I’ve litigated Landlord/Tenant matters for years. I know where common problems arise as well as how to plan for the unexpected. When I prepare a lease I meet with individual landlords to learn about their property and specific needs so I can craft a lease that is customized to their situation. I will listen to your needs and desires, then draft a custom lease that we’ll review together and tweak until we have just the right fit.
Sounds expensive, right? Not necessarily. I draft most residential leases for individual landlords for a reasonable flat fee.
Ready to fix your lease? Contact my office today to get started.