Using somebodys else Residential Lease Form

1 Reply

I recently bought a property with an established tenant. The lease which I assumed was drafted by an attorney (about 10 pages long). Till now I used the Florida Realtors "Residential lease for Single family Home or duplexes" (about 19 pages long)

I actually liked the way the attorney drafted the lease, because it felt a lot more simple for tenants to understand, and it focused exactly in issues that mostly occur. The Florida Realtors one, I know that it is compliant 110% on Florida Landlord-tenant law, and covers every detail.

My questions are a) can I use the new one without the attorneys permission if I change it a bit? 

b) Which one would you use?

Unless he/she has copyrighted it, I don't see how they can prevent you from using it if you like it. I like boilerplate leases specific to the state that are used through real estate companies and other professional outfits because they usually have pertinent information that someone not experienced in drafting language, such as myself, might miss. For example, in Tennessee tenants have the right to 30 days of notice for evictions, but landlords also have the right to ask tenants to voluntarily waive such rights, and that is contained in most TN leases that I know because it gives immediate relief to landlords for non-paying tenants. If I was drafting my own lease, I might not know to put that information in. 

So if I were going to use a custom one like you have, I would have an experienced professional (attorney or real estate property manager) review it for thoroughness. What I like to do is just use a standard one for my state and put additional information in an addendum contained within the body of the lease. 

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