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Waive, Vague, Anytime, Automatic ... And Other "Be Aware" Words For Tenants.

As a prospective tenant, it is easy to overlook alot of things if you fall in love with a home!  But it is important to look past the initial "love" and make sure the home is in good working and living condition.  Once you are satisfied and have been approved for the home, the next important step is to ask for the rental lease so you can review it before signing.

And when you get it - make sure you read it thoroughly and ask questions.

Each state has laws and rules landlords (and tenants) must follow.  There are things each side can and cannot do.  And then there are some things (and/or clauses) used in leases that are questionable and should be checked out to make sure it is legal and/or valid.  How would you know?

First of all, if it doesn't seem right - ask about it.  Second, there are some words or phrases that send up flags.  Some include:

Waive. If you see any sentence that begins with, "Tenant waives their right to..." - flag it and ask.  But don't just ask the landlord, ask an independent person who knows landlord tenant laws in your state.

As Is.  If you see this phrase in any part of the lease - have the landlord define "as is" or better yet, remove it from the lease.

Anytime.  This word usually comes in a sentence that reads, "Landlord can access unit/home anytime ..."  Be aware - in general, tenants have a right to privacy - and a landlord must give notice to access the home.  Usually, a landlord can access anytime only in emergency situations.

Tenant responsible.  Make sure you read these clauses very carefully - especially if it's followed by the words "repairs and fix".  

Automatic.  Another word to be very careful of.  Usually this word precedes or follows the phrases, "Automatic lease renewal.." or "Automatic rent increase or fees".

Change.  Or May Change followed by the words "at anytime".  Typically, this is a big red flag and something that definitely needs clarification or again, removed from the lease.

Vague.  Vague typically is not a word in a lease - but it's more a sense of something, phrases or a clause that isn't clear.  It's vague.  If something isn't clear, get the details and get them in writing!

This is not to say these words can't or shouldn't be used in a lease - it's more to provide some "tenant be aware" cautions!  Just make sure you read and know before signing!

 

 

Buying or selling Tucson real estate, Mt Lemmon, Tucson bank-owned homes, Tucson rental homes, or Tucson lease option homes? Visit www.KGCPropertiesLLC.com .

                                                 

 

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 .

 

Comment balloon 8 commentsGabrielle Kamahele Rhind • May 30 2013 05:48AM

Comments

Great advice to give to tenants. I'd also add the thought of looking at the lease form itself- is it very old (in which case likely not current with law changes) or perhaps it is too brief and leaves a lot of detail to interpretation? Use good judgement as that lease will be the contract that is referred to if something unpleasant occurs.
Posted by Mark Delgado, Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h (houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove) about 5 years ago

Gab,

Words have meaning, especially in the contract. I see so many renters just gloss over the details of the lease.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 5 years ago

Often I read rental agreements that the renter, if in their right mind, should never sign. It uses a combination of several words in your post!

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Professionals.) about 5 years ago

You are right Gabrielle. . those are words of caution in any contract!

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 5 years ago

Great reminders that not everyone knows our lease agreements as well as we do...explaining in SIMPLE terms is best.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 5 years ago

It amazes me agents who work with tenants and just simply don't understand the contract.  I often have to send the contract back and strike out things that are just not appropriate for a tenant to agree.  Funny when I call them out on it they quickly back down or just copied some else lease and just had no clue - shameful!

Posted by Connie Goodrich, CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas (Keller Williams Realty) about 5 years ago

I agree that many tenants must read the contract before they sign. It is a legal binding contract.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 5 years ago

Gabrielle, I have the tenant initial parts of the lease that later they might find objectionable as I review it with them.

Posted by Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC & (Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC) about 5 years ago

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