Article by Gen Wright
Why Rental Contract Forms Are Important – Law
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Very often, a dispute arises out of a rental agreement. Property can be residential or commercial, but that doesn’t really matter. Dispute still arise all the same. It is the nature of rental agreements that gives rise to dispute. Here is why disputes are so common when it comes to rental agreements.
A rental agreement, is a legally binding contract between the tenant and the landlord. The problem with such an agreement is that there is often a difference in terms of expectations. For example, the landlord may have certain terms like not allowing pets in the property. If such terms are not stated in advance, there is a potential dispute, just waiting to pounce.
And when you really spend some time pondering over a rental agreement, you quickly realize that it’s so easy for disputes to arise. It doesn’t matter if you are the tenant or the landlord. When there are disputes, you will be affected.
Every little detail is a like a time bomb, just waiting to go off. Who pays for utilities? What is responsible for repairs and maintenance? Is cooking allowed? How many occupants are allowed? All these details should be clarified as early as possible.
It is always tempting to take the easy way out and just complete the deal with a verbal agreement and a handshake. Although a verbal agreement is still legally binding, it is hard to enforce. After all, there may be no one around to witness the whole verbal conversation. And the court will find it difficult to determine who is telling the truth, and who is not.
So instead of taking the easy way out, always be prepared to write down everything on paper. There should be at least two copies of the rental agreement. Both parties should agree on the terms, and sign on it. And then each will keep a copy of the rental agreement. The agreement thus becomes a rental contract, which is enforceable by law. In the event that one party breaches the contract, the aggrieved party can bring the issue to court.
Some people like to use freely available rental contracts. However, these are usually just generic templates and they contain minimal information. A better option would be to buy a set of professionally written rental contract forms. For a very reasonable price, you will be able to instantly download a rental application form, a rental receipt letter, a move in/move out form, and a standard residential lease form. These forms will contain all the necessary details.
For instance, you will be able to specify details like names of all tenants, number of occupants allowed, length of tenancy, amount of rent, and so on. You can even specify how the rent is to be paid and when it is due.
In other words, the forms state as clearly as possible the details that govern the relationship between tenant and landlord. This is to ensure that should there be a need for the documents to be produced in court, the contracts will be legally binding.
When it comes to business contracts, there is no need to take unnecessary risks. Disputes happen often, and they can happen to you. So protect yourself with a set of contracts that are in full compliance with property leasing laws that are applicable to your state, city or town.
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