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3 Tips to Improve Your Investment Property Apartment Leases


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If you are an investment property landlord, then your apartment leases are truly your lifeblood in the event you need to take some kind of corrective action with your tenants.  The purpose of today’s post is to highlight some things you can do to boost the power and effectiveness of your leases.

First and foremost, understand that not all tenancy agreements are appropriate in all situations.  Try to avoid utilizing generic forms, because they tend to contain simple or ambiguous language that essentially leaves items open to interpretation.  Additionally, leases should be state-specific because all states have different landlord tenant laws, so do not use the same version across multiple states.  The bottom line is that you should have a legitimate property attorney craft your leases based on your specific situation.

Second, make sure you retain a signed hard copy of all leases for your records.  In the “old days” this was not an issue, but now it must be mentioned due to the prominence of email in today’s world.  Simply put, an unsigned soft copy of the lease might not hold up in court.  The legal system in general demands signed proofs of legal contracts, which is exactly what a lease is.

Finally, do whatever it takes to ensure that both you and your tenants follow the rules and guidelines in the lease.  For example, do not verbally modify the apartment lease if it contains language that only allows the terms of the lease to be modified in writing.  On the tenant side, an example of ‘helping them to help you’ would be providing them with a laminated “rules” sheet that can be attached to the refrigerator.

I know these might seem obvious, but like so many things in life they can easily be forgotten.  To sum it up, make sure your apartment leases are customized for your specific situation, always retain signed hard copies of leases and any other tenant correspondence, and avoid inadvertently violating any terms of the lease.



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