Lease Agreement Question

2 Replies

Have a question about the legality of the Indemnification/Liability clauses. I'm just getting started and may take on a few houses as a property manager.

From several example lease contacts, I've seen an indemnification section. The example below is from @Brandon Turner 's example contract from his book.

"Landlord shall not be held liable for any act by, or injury or damage to any person on or about the Premises. Tenant shall indemnify, defend, and hold Landlord harmless from all injury, loss, claim or damage to any person or property while on the Premises, or arising in any way out of Tenant's use or occupancy of the Premises."

Sounds great, but then I read in the Kansas Residential Landlord & Tenant Act: 58-2547. Same; prohibited terms and conditions; damages.

(a) No rental agreement may provide that the tenant or landlord: ...

(4) agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of either party arising under law or to indemnify either party for that liability or the costs connected therewith, except that a rental agreement may provide that a tenant agrees to limit the landlord's liability for fire, theft or breakage with respect to common areas of the dwelling unit.

(b) A provision prohibited by subsection (a) included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord deliberately uses a rental agreement containing provisions known by such landlord to be prohibited, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by such tenant.

So, in your opinion, is the indemnification clause legal?

Hi @Tracy Liggett ,

Landlord-Tenant laws change from State to State. I'm sure Brandon is speaking generically. I would consult with a local attorney to figure out the correct way to go about it. Sounds to me that KS doesn't allow for that paragraph to be in the lease. 

We require our tenants have a rental insurance policy of a certain amount of coverage. (call an apartment complex and ask what their requirements are) That insurance policy adds another layer of protection. Likely someone is going to go after that policy first before making a claim against your homeowner's policy. 

Hello @Tom Parris ,

Thank you for your response and advice. I've received examples from others here in Kansas that have a similar clause. That is what really raised the question. One, in particular, I know has been reviewed by a local attorney. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't reading it wrong before I brought it to his attention.

Thank you,

Tracy