How did you come up with your lease?

12 Replies

Hi,

I am a new REI in Columbus Ohio. I am in the process of reading Managing Rentals by Brandon Turner.

How do you guys come up with your lease to present to tenants? Do you use an attorney or purchase from online legal websites? Also, what if you wanted to add addendums? Do you need to consult an attorney to add this?

I was thinking about possibly asking my realtor for a lease or using it from BiggerPockets. Would this be a good idea?

I've talked a good amount of investors and they've seemed to have used attorneys to help them write their lease agreements! Please help.

Hi @Jimmy Lieu , personally I use the BiggerPockets landlord forms for my property management.  I had an attorney look them over and said they are nearly identical to what he created, with a few small additions that he recommends.  Ultimately I think this is a sound way to go and drafting a lease from the ground up seems like needless rework.

The key things you want your lease to be are:  

  • compliant with your local Landlord Tenant Act rules 
  • Enforceable 

I'd go with the simplest solution to achieving that.

When we started years ago, I compiled a lease from about 3 different samples that I had found so it contained the general concepts that I wanted.  Then I took it to my attorney for review and tweaks (as I am not an attorney and am not qualified to practice law) before we put it into service.  We have made revisions a half dozen times and each time, I mock up what I would like to see and then let the attorney put it into the legal ease.  Giving them the sample seems to keep the legal fees down since they are not writing from scratch.

Originally posted by @Jimmy Lieu :

Hi,

I am a new REI in Columbus Ohio. I am in the process of reading Managing Rentals by Brandon Turner.

How do you guys come up with your lease to present to tenants? Do you use an attorney or purchase from online legal websites? Also, what if you wanted to add addendums? Do you need to consult an attorney to add this?

I was thinking about possibly asking my realtor for a lease or using it from BiggerPockets. Would this be a good idea?

I've talked a good amount of investors and they've seemed to have used attorneys to help them write their lease agreements! Please help.

 The first property I bought was from an attorney, he hand drafted his lease. Ever since Ive been using that and adding small segments to it here and there.

Do NOT use the Realtor version!  There are many additional conditions and clauses you need to protect yourself that are not in it.  
Start with the BP template and tweak it to your needs from there.   

Originally posted by @Jimmy Lieu :

Hi,

I am a new REI in Columbus Ohio. I am in the process of reading Managing Rentals by Brandon Turner.

How do you guys come up with your lease to present to tenants? Do you use an attorney or purchase from online legal websites? Also, what if you wanted to add addendums? Do you need to consult an attorney to add this?

I was thinking about possibly asking my realtor for a lease or using it from BiggerPockets. Would this be a good idea?

I've talked a good amount of investors and they've seemed to have used attorneys to help them write their lease agreements! Please help.

 BiggerPockets has a list of forms that you can buy from them for cheap. They work well for Columbus, Ohio

We did something similar to @David Terbeek

You should consider these issues:

1) No attorney can create a lease that will represent your business the way you want it to. So, you should be prepared to modify any lease you find and then have an attorney approve it.

2) What you thought would work yesterday, tenants will find loopholes in. So, be prepared to adjust your lease to address unpleasant scenarios you experience.

3) No one can think of everything (not even attorneys!). So, you should review every lease you can and learn from them. 

Our lease started out at 10 pages and is now 26.

You can get a state specific lease from BiggerPockets or often your local realtors association has attorney written leases. I personally added content and had my lease attorney reviewed. You do not want to write your own lease without attorney review.

Go to your local rental housing association.  They pay an atty to regularly review and update the leases for the jurisdiction.

You can buy them for a minimal amount, well worth the cost.

@Jimmy Lieu

I would use a lease from Biggerpockets or it you put your rental on Apartments.com they have a lease that you can use and it is specific to your state laws. If you have any questions let me know I would be happy to help.