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A residential real estate lease is a contract between a tenant and landlord. It allows the tenant to have the right to live in the property for a certain amount of time in exchange for rent. It also specifies the conditions with which both parties must comply, the circumstances under which the lease can be terminated, and defines the rights of the parties. While a good lease will help ensure the interests of both parties are protected, there are a number of considerations when it comes to negotiating and drafting an effective residential lease agreement in California.
Finding the perfect home to rent can feel like a daunting task. But once the ideal rental has been found, it’s critical to consider the provisions that must be negotiated. When negotiating a lease, a tenant should consider much more than just the cost of monthly rent. Depending upon the type of property, a tenant might be able to negotiate the following:
It’s essential for tenants to pay attention to the fine details in their lease before signing. For instance, tenants should consider the landlord’s pet policy and sublease policy. Both parties should also be clear on who pays for what — such as routine pest control, landscaping, and utility services, such as water, sewer, and trash. Additionally, although some landlords will include heat and hot water with the lease, a unit can sometimes have an individual meter or a shared meter that tracks usage. These things should all be considered during the process of lease negotiations.
Investing in a rental property can be a smart financial move — but it also comes with a significant amount of responsibility. For a landlord, it’s vital to look beyond the provisions in a standard boilerplate lease agreement and tailor clauses that will meet their needs. Landlords should carefully consider their obligations in connection with the following when entering into a rental agreement with a tenant:
A rental agreement should be well-drafted and clearly specify the parties’ expectations. However, issues can arise when landlords inadvertently or willfully include illegal clauses in a residential lease agreement — such as those involving a waiver of landlord responsibility to ensure the premises are maintained in a habitable condition. It’s crucial to have the guidance of a skilled real estate attorney who can assist with lease negotiations and drafting to help avoid various disputes.
California residential lease negotiations can be complex, and it’s best to have a knowledgeable real estate attorney by your side to guide you through the process. From drafting effective leases, to negotiating terms, and handling any disputes that arise, the experienced residential real estate attorneys at White and Bright, LLP provide capable representation to tenants, landlords, and other parties in connection with residential real estate matters. We welcome you to contact or call us at (760) 747-3200 to learn more about our legal services.
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