Examples of Lease Contracts

10 Replies

Hi BP,

I'm starting to look for an investment property and mainly focused on triplex for quadplexes. As this will be my first investment property and will mostly be tenant occupied when I purchase, I was wondering if there's examples of lease contracts I can base mine off of. The property will be in the Bay Area, specifically in Oakland, CA. Also, should I be getting a lawyer to edit it before sending it to the tenants?

Any advice will be helpful on this matter! Thanks 

@Austin Cai If you upgrade to a 'Pro' membership you can get them here. Also if you join a local REI association-you should do this no matter what-you can probably get them there. Oakland has specific rules as do many California cities. I was a LL in the Bay Area for 30 years now a LL in Wa. It is all about screening wherever you are. All the best!

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@Austin Cai Generally, a standardized lease agreement such as one from CAR (California Association of Realtors), or for Oakland in particular (from the East Bay Rental Housing Association) should suffice. As these lease forms have been thoroughly crafted, reviewed (and constantly updated) by attorneys. PM me if you'd like to see some standard lease forms.

Overall, an attorney isn't usually necessary to edit or review the forms as they're fairly thorough & ironclad. However, talking to an attorney is great from risk mitigation standpoint (evictions, owner move-ins, nuances in landlord-tenant laws to be aware of, etc) in discussing short term & long-term options w/tenants you'd be inheriting in a triplex or fourplex. I also have a few landlord attorneys if you'd like to pick their brains on Oakland landlord-tenant matters.

@Austin Cai When I was a LL in Ca I did not realize the value of local REI groups. When we moved to Wa we were new and wanted to network. Now we would not be without it. You can find groups on Google. I think some will chime in here too.

Go to NETWORK at the top of your screen and you can search for other investors and investment groups in your area. You can also check meetup.com or search facebook for real estate investment groups, clubs, or meetings in your area.

There are organizations in your state that have developed lease agreements to use. Talk to other investors in the area or look for an apartment/housing assocation to join and learn from.

@Austin Cai   In addition to the good advice again, have a look at California Apartment Association. They have lots of forms besides just leases, MIMO, Security Deposit Disposition, 3-day notices etc.  They do a good job keeping them up to date as well.

It sounds like you are hoping to find a triplex or Fourplex that is vacant in Oakland?  That is very, rare to find. As for the leases….others have mentioned resources you can utilize for that. 

Thank you for the invaluable information! Speaking of contracts I do wonder about the logistics of such a transition, especially in regards to how the rent is given. Take for instance I receive ownership of the property on the 15th of a month. The tenants would've already paid the rent for that month to the previous owner. Do I just forfeit the money that should've been mine from 15th onward? Or do I add that in as deduction from the closing cost? How do I create a seamless transition of management for both myself and the tenant? 

@Austin Cai The escrow/title company will be able to assist with prorating rents & keeping them in separate accounts that will be wired to you @ close of escrow. During escrow, you should also be given copies of all existing leases and tenant estoppels - big red flag if you aren't given those (or if written leases don't exist). That way you can get familiar with the intricacies of the tenants existing leases.

If the Seller works with a professional property management company, you can often utilize their services to streamline the transition process post-closing for a while and/or keep them on indefinitely. However, most triplexes & fourplexes that I've seen in Oakland are owner-managed/mom-and-pop investors.