How to edit a printed lease agreement?

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How to edit a printed lease agreement?

I bought a lease agreement online that said could be edited but the only thing that can be edited is the blank spaces to put info in. Could I print it out and just blackout the parts of the lease that I don’t want or want to change?

Asked on December 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could do what you suggest, since, for example, even handwritten annotations to a pre-printed form are legally enforceable, so long as they were on the form prior to the parties agreeing to and executing it. However, sometimes an question or dispute comes up as to what was or was not in the form at the time of signing, when there are additions, modifications, or deletions made to a pre-printed form. That's why the better course is to retype the form, making whatever changes you want to the Word document as you type it, so you have a single, unified document. If you can't or don't want to do that, then you should blackout, make annotations, etc. but have all parties to the lease (e.g. you and the tenants) write your initials next to the changed sections, to make it clear that they saw and agreed to the changes and that the changes existed prior to execution.


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