Each state, county, city or township may have strict requirements regarding the leasing of residential real property, so it is important to get quality legal advice sooner rather than later! Additionally, by using a comprehensive lease contract, you can avoid many future headaches that you didn't realize would be headed your way thanks to you using a lease from Staples or that you found online by searching “sample lease.”
For example, in Arizona, the law provides that a landlord can turn over the personal property to someone designated by the tenant in writing in the event the tenant dies during the term of the lease. What seems like a relatively minor thing to include in a lease can actually save the property owner a ton of time and money having to either keep everything in the property without being able to re-rent it, or having to pay to move and store such property, until such time as probate is opened and a personal representative named. Until that happens, the owner/landlord opens themselves to possible legal liability if they release the personal property to someone not authorized in writing by the tenant.
Also, in Arizona every residential rental property must be registered as such with the county, and a failure to do so can lead to financial penalties and, if not registered within a few days of being notified by the tenant, can lead to the tenant being able to terminate the lease.
In New Jersey, each residential rental property must receive a Certificate of Occupancy before it can be occupied by a non-owner. A failure to do so can result in the lease being terminated and the tenant evicted by the township. Additionally, each landlord must register with the township where the property is located, and a failure to do so will result in an eviction action being rejected by the courts.
So, it is important that, as a landlord, you find a good real estate attorney to advise you, not only on the ins-and-outs of landlord/tenant law, but also on how best to hold title to the properties in order to maximize your asset protection. Make sure you also check out the real estate investment asset protection scenarios, which help illustrate the importance of a sound ownership structure.
Call 609-208-0999 or contact us online to set up an appointment to discuss how Sluder Law Firm can help you with your landlord/tenant needs.