Is THIS a good Lease? Requesting Critique, Suggestions, Feedback

3 Replies

Hey Everyone!

This is my first rental property (a triplex), which is in the state of PA. Before I send my attorney to create, I'm asking as many of you Real Estate Investor Veterans as possible to please read it over and let me know if you think it is a solid Lease. If not why? If so, why? Would you add anything? Would you remove something, or perhaps dislike the way I worded something? Please help out a new investor and I promise to do the same when I get some experience. I have the Lease and Rules pasted below.



THIS LEASE, made the _____ day of ______ between MY LLC, hereinafter called the "Landlord", and _______________________ hereinafter called the "Tenant".

Landlord: MY LLC

Address: PO Box XXX Somewhere, PA


WITNESSETH: That Landlord hereby leases to Tenant, 115 Smith Street, Somewhere, Pennsylvania, hereinafter called the “Premises” for the term of One (1) year beginning on _____ and ending on the _____.


A. The monthly rent is Six Hundred Twenty Five Dollars ($625.00). After 1 (one year), the Tenant will be considered on a month-to month agreement but still abide by the conditions, covenants, and agreements of this lease. Once on a month-to month agreement, the Landlord may then choose to increase the monthly rent or change the terms of this lease upon written notice to Tenant given at least Thirty (30) days in advance of the next rent payment due.

B. Should Tenant fail to make timely payment of monthly rent or any utilities they are responsible for paying, Landlord may terminate this Lease immediately.

C. The total rent for the lease term is Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($7,500).

D. Rent is due in advance, without demand, on or before 3rd day of each month.

E. If rent is more than (2) days late, the tenant will incur a late fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00). The tenant will then be charged an additional Ten Dollars ($10) per day thereafter until rent and late fees have been paid in full.

F. The tenant will pay a fee of Fifty Dollars ($50) for any payment that is returned or declined by any financial institution resulting in charges imposed upon MY LLC

G. The landlord or the tenant must give 30 days written notice to end a month-to month-lease.

H. The tenant agrees to abide by all rules of lease (even after expiration), once it becomes month-to-month.

I. If the landlord makes any changes, including a rent increase, when updating this lease, the landlord must send the changes to the tenant at least 30 days beforehand.

J. The tenant may use the property only for residential purposes.

K. ONLY TENANTS who have signed and are named on this lease may live on the premise.

L. Rules are attached: Yes ___X___ No ________

M. Before this lease begins, the landlord agrees to make the following repairs, replacements, or improvements: None.

N. Tenant agrees to have rent and all payments made via ACH Direct Deposit, or use the PayNearMe service. Paragon Enterprises LLC is not obligated to accept any other form of payment.

O. List of utilities or other changes

Landlord PaysTenant PaysLandlord PaysTenant Pays
Cooking Gas / FuelTelephone
ElectricityLawn Care
Heat (Oil)All Pest / Rodent Control
Hot Water (Electric)Renters Insurance
Cold WaterCable / Satellite TV
Trash RemovalHeater Maintenance
Recycling Removal
Sewage Fees
Sewer Maintenance

P. The tenant is responsible for all snow, ice, and debris removal from rear door exit to rear porch, rear porch steps, and rear sidewalk abutting steps. Tenant is also responsible for snow, ice, and debris removal from front door exit to front porch, front porch steps, front sidewalk abutting steps and sidewalk along their side the property. Tenant also responsible to maintain snow, ice, and debris for personal parking area in rear of premise. The landlord will remove snow, ice, and debris from the main sidewalk in front of the premise. Tenant solely liable for any accident due or alleged to be due to the condition of the sidewalks, steps, or common areas of the premise.

Q. Appliances included with the premise of 115 Smith St. include:

Stove [ X ] Refrigerator [ ] Dishwasher [ ] Washer [ ] Dryer


A. The tenant will notify the landlord promptly if the property is destroyed or damaged.

B. The tenant is responsible for their own negligence and the negligence of their guest, family, or any others they allow on the property. The landlord is not required to make repairs caused by the tenant’s negligent conduct or by the willful misconduct of the tenant or a person on the property with the tenant’s permission.


A. If the landlord sells or transfers the property, the landlord will give written notice to the tenant stating:

1) The name of the new landlord;

2) The address and the telephone number of the new landlord or agent;

3) Where and to whom to pay rent; and

4) Whether the landlord has transferred the security deposit to the new landlord.


All rules are in writing and are attached to this lease. The tenant must follow the rules.


A. The landlord can enter the property at reasonable times on 24-hour notice to the tenant to:

1) Inspect the property;

2) Make repairs, alterations, or improvements;

3) Supply services;

4) Show the property to prospective buyers, mortgage lenders, contractors, or insurers.

B. After the Tenant or Landlord has given notice to end the lease, the Landlord may show the property to future tenants at reasonable times.

C. In case of emergency, the Landlord can enter the property at any time without notice to the Tenant. If the Tenant is not present at the time of entry, the Landlord must notify the Tenant within 24 hours of the time, purpose, and persons who entered the property.

D. Tenant agrees to provide Landlord with duplicate keys to premise.


The Tenant and other people the Tenant allows on the premise promise to:

A. Obey all laws and rules that apply to Tenant.

B. Keep the premise clean and safe.

C. Use all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances in a safe and reasonable way.

D. Promptly remove all trash, garbage, and debris from the premise as required by the Landlord and local law.

E. Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, or remove any part of the premise or grounds.

F. Not unreasonably disturb the peace and quiet of other Tenants or neighbors.

G. Promptly notify the Landlord of conditions that need repair.

H. Make no major changes to the premise, such as painting, rebuilding, removing or repairing without the Landlord’s consent. The Tenant cam make necessary repairs if the Landlord does not make the repairs after reasonable notice from the Tenant. Alterations become the property of the Landlord, unless the Landlord gives written permission to remove them.

I. Tenant agrees not to keep anything in the property that is highly flammable, dangerous, or substantially increases the danger of fire or injury.


The Landlord promises to:

A. Operate and keep the premise and common areas in the manner required by law.

B. Keep the property in good repair and in good working order. This includes the roof, windows, doors, locks, floors, steps, porches, interior walls, ceilings, foundations, and all other structural parts of the property. This also includes electrical, plumbing, sanitary, drainage, heating, water heating, and ventilating systems.

C. Continue all services any utilities hat the Landlord has agreed to provide under Section 3 (Conditions – Utilities) of this lease.

D. Provide emergency access to utilities serving the premise.


A. Before the Landlord can file a lawsuit to evict the Tenant for failure to pay rent or other changes required by this lease, the Landlord must give the Tenant 15 days written notice to leave the premise. (I WOULD PREFER 10 DAYS IF THAT’s LEGALLY POSSIBLE IN PENNSYLVANIA). After 10 days, the Landlord will send the Tenant a Pay or Vacate Notice.

B. These are not the only remedies the Landlord has if the Tenant violates or breaks this lease. Besides ending this lease and evicting the Tenant, the Landlord can sue the Tenant for unpaid rent, other damages, losses, or injuries. If the Landlord receives a judgment for money against the Tenant, the landlord can use the court process to take the Tenant’s personal goods, furniture, motor vehicles, and bank funds.


The Tenant cannot sublease the premise to any other persons or let any other persons take over the Tenant's rights and duties under this lease, unless the Landlord first gives written permission. This includes no subletting of the premise.


If the premise is sol at a mortgage foreclosure sale, the purchaser can end this lease. In a foreclosure sale, all mortgages that now or in the future affect the premise have a priority over this lease. The Tenant agrees to sign all papers needed by the mortgage holder to give priority over this lease. The Tenant agrees to waive a right to have the lease continue after a foreclosure sale.


Any dispute over any of the terms, conditions, paragraphs, Rules, or any part of this lease shall be litigated in the Court of Common Pleas of ______ County, PA and any Magisterial District Court therein.


A. Parking Rules

Rear off street parking is available to all tenants. There are a total of FOUR (4) rear parking spaces. 115 Smith St. is allotted TWO (2) spaces, 113 Smith St. (first floor) is allotted ONE (1) space, and 113 Smith St. (2nd floor) is allotted ONE (1) space. Should additional parking be needed, Tenants will need to park in front of the premise, or find an alternative location. The lawn may NOT be used as a parking space by any Tenant. Failure to follow guidelines is considered a breach of this lease.

The below diagram can be used as a guide to prevent any confusion. If standing at the rear of the premise, this is what the assigned parking spaces would look like.

Space # 1115 Smith St.Space # 2115 Smith St.Space # 3113 Smith St.2nd FloorSpace # 4113 Smith1st Floor

B. Prohibited Storage Locations

The use of the basement is strictly prohibited for Tenant storage. In the event Tenant personal property is stored in these locations, it will be considered as a breach of this lease and subject to immediate disposal to be paid by the Tenant.

C. Disposal of white goods, electronics, other personal property is the Tenant’s responsibility. Garbage and/or appliances must be stored in appropriate containers. Outside areas must remain clear of debris, garbage, bicycles, toys, furniture, tarps, and other clutter. Do not use your balcony as or porch as storage. Decks/porches/balconies are meant for the Tenant’s enjoyment. A barbecue, lawn furniture and small plants are the only acceptable items. Failure to abide by this policy will result in termination of tenancy. Tenants will have a 30-day grace period which shall begin upon the signing of this lease.

D. No pets are permitted on the premise without prior written consent of the Landlord. Tenants currently owning pets and having resided at the premise prior to 11/22/2017 are exempt.

E. It is the responsibility of the Tenant to notify the Landlord of a deficiency in the premise. Deficiencies may include, but are not limited to: burned out light bulbs, non-working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, inoperable doors, windows, or locking mechanisms.

F. The Tenant acknowledges to have inspected the premise at the time of signing this lease and that all aforementioned items within living quarters are in good working order.

G. Smoking inside the premise is strictly prohibited. Tenants having resided at the premise prior to 11/22/2017 are exempt.

H. All Tenants agree to Landlord inspection every 6 months to ensure sanitary living conditions are being met.

I. All residents 18 years of age and older must sign and be named on this lease agreement.

J. Tenants are responsible for the conduct of all friends, family, and guests.

K. Visiting family, friends, or guests must not stay longer than FOURTEEN (14) days without approval from the Landlord.

L. Upon the signing this lease, the Tenant agrees to pay ONE month rent as Security Deposit to the Landlord. This Security Deposit will be held until the Tenant surrenders possession of the premise, and may be returned after proper inspection of the leased premise by the Landlord in compliance with the Pennsylvania Landlord-tenant Act. NOTE: The Tenant must provide the Landlord with their new forwarding address IN WRITING WITHIN 30 days from the date of surrender.

M. Use of illegal drugs by all Tenants is prohibited, (including marijuana). Failure to comply with this rule is grounds for immediate eviction.

N. All Tenants agree not to hold the Landlord responsible for any personal items lost or stolen from the premise.

O. New Tenants agree (prior to taking possession of the premise), are required to provide the Landlord with a Property and Liability Renters Insurance Policy with a minimum of $100,000 liability coverage. Existing Tenants will need to show proof of insurance before signing a new lease agreement. The Tenant understands any insurance the Landlord may have will not cover the Tenant’s personal property, Tenant, or Tenant’s guests who may be injured while on the premise.

@Ryan K. to be honest you may not get any responses to your post. It would take too much time to read through this and you dont know whos opinion is worth anything. We manage 650 units in Pittsburgh and we use the standard PAR lease. Its the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors lease. You can probably get your hands on a lease similar or some other pre printed Plain Language Lease. You shouldn't have to pay an attorney to review this lease. Your attorney may even have a lease that they recommend. 

@Ryan K.

Basically what @Alex Deacon said. Talk to your lawyer and just have him or her draft the lease or give you the lease. Or take a look at the PAR Lease (which is pretty good). 

Just based on a brief glance, the lease is missing Lead Paint Disclosure language. Granted, you don't always need to make the disclosure but most standard leases include it as a default since you probably don't want to edit your lease for every single property you own. You probably want to include a waiver of notice to quit as well regardless of whether you intend to give a notice to quit.

Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it for legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.

Another thing not yet mentioned is that in PA, the plain language consumer contract law is to be followed with respect to the lease language.

As to the PAR lease, like all PAR documents, they are designed to protect the licensed agents first and foremost, and maybe not so much the landlord. So getting a plain language lease that is more skewed to protecting the landlord is advisable in PA. I have posted elsewhere on BP that Don Beck has such a lease at his website, if you choose to go that route.