One thing that bugs me when meeting new or prospective tenants is hearing, “My old landlord “did this”, ”had this in the lease”, “Kept my security deposit because…” – especially when it comes to DIY landlords.
The reason it bugs me is because many landlords make false claims, put things in their leases that aren’t legal or valid - claiming that their rules and lease is “standard”.
My shout out to tenants today is protect yourself. There is no such thing as a standard lease. There are many “stock” leases available for purchase, many landlords write up their own leases, etc., and unfortunately, many leases contain errors.
There are good landlords, but you have to really protect yourself against are the greedy ones – they ask for crazy security deposit amounts or fees, they write unusual things in their leases in attempts to keep your security deposits or to have you be responsible for repairs, etc.
A couple tips for today:
There is a difference between “laws” and “rules”. For landlord/tenant laws and what a landlord/tenant can and can’t do – best resource is the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act. For rules – each landlord/management company has their own rules contained in a lease, or on separate addendum. But the rules must not violate laws, such as discrimination, habitability, etc.
An invalid clause in your lease doesn’t necessarily invalidate your lease – so be careful of trying to break your lease based on one paragraph. Always check and ask questions before you break your lease.
This blog is written with my opinions and my opinions are presented with accuracy but not guarantees. Please talk to a professional before making any real estate, financial or agency decisions. Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind - 2014. If you want to reprint parts of this - just email me for my permission: KGCProperties@gmail.com .