If I want to leasemy condo, where do I get a lease and what should be in it?

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If I want to leasemy condo, where do I get a lease and what should be in it?

Asked on February 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You should be able to find a form lease on the internet--you can either look for a free one or pay for a sample from one of a number of companies which provide legal documents. However, that is a second best alternative--what  you *should* do is meet  with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney, who can draft a lease which meets all your specific needs and also make sure you understand the law and your obligations, and that you comply with all requirements.

If you are determined to draft your own lease, you need to:

1) define the term or length of the rental

2) define the rent and when it is paid; also whether there is a late fee, and how much

3) if there is anything the tenant *cannot* do (e.g. say he or she can't use a condo health club), put that in the lease

4) define and require the security deposit

5) require the tenant to get renter's insurance

6) provide that in the event that you have to take  legal action against the tenant, you can recover lawyer and court fees as "additional rent"

7) allocate any other costs the tenant pays (e.g. utilities)

8) state that the tenant has to keep the unit clean and avoid disturbing the peace of any other residents

9) put any limits you want on number of people who live there, or on pets

10) state that the tenant is responsible for the cost  of any repairs, and said costs can be taken from the security deposit, which can also be used for unpaid rent at the end of the tenancy

Those are the usual main terms to focus on.

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