A lease agreement is a legal contract that establishes a relationship between a landlord and a tenant. Lease agreements must specifically address each party’s rights and obligations. When lease agreements are vague or use imprecise terms, disputes can arise. Before signing a lease or rental agreement, it’s crucial to have an attorney examine the contract.
The lease agreement attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace regularly help clients draft, review, and negotiate lease agreements in Pittsburgh and throughout Pennsylvania. Like any contractual agreement, there may be language you don’t understand. Working with a trusted attorney is essential when landlord-tenant disputes occur over the lease agreement. Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace is prepared to represent your best interests.
Providing Landlords and Tenants with Effective Legal Counsel
The lease agreement attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace assist in drafting, analyzing, and advising clients about lease agreements. Our attorneys ensure that a lease agreement between the parties is mutually beneficial. We’ve helped clients draft, analyze, negotiate, and finalize lease agreements.
Our attorneys provide clients with trusted legal counsel about potential red flags in lease agreements. Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace has advised landlords and tenants regarding a wide range of lease agreements, including the following:
- Rental agreements
- Residential lease agreements
- Office space leases
- Building lease agreements
- Commercial lease agreements
Information that Should Be Included in a Lease Agreement
A lease agreement serves as a legally binding contract that is enforceable by the court. Lease agreements include multiple business-related matters on the landlord’s part, including the lease’s length, the rent amount, and when the rent is due. The lease agreement should also include the following:
- The name of all of the tenants
- The contact information of the tenants
- A description of the property
- The lease’s expiration date
- The cost of the lease, including the first month and last month of payments
- Acceptable payment methods
- Applicable late fees and charges if a check bounces
- How will the landlord hold security deposits and for how long
- Policies related to each party’s maintenance obligations
- Specific information related to the landlord’s right to enter the property
Landlords can also define limitations related to smoking, pets, and the termination of the lease agreement if caught doing illegal activities.
Not All Provisions in Lease Agreements Are Enforceable
When a dispute arises regarding a lease agreement, a judge may decide whether the lease is legally binding. Some of the terms of the lease may be unenforceable. For example, a lease cannot state that the landlord can repossess the property immediately after the tenant’s rent is behind. Landlords are required to follow an eviction procedure according to Pennsylvania state law.
Similarly, a lease agreement cannot state that the landlord can enter the property at any time without notice. Tenants have a right to a reasonable amount of privacy. A lease agreement cannot state that the tenant must pay for all rental damages without the landlord establishing fault. Landlords cannot charge tenants for damage they didn’t cause, such as storm damage.
The Lease Agreement Should Take the Property Into Account
Every property is unique. The best way to avoid rental agreement disputes is to work with an attorney to draft a unique, comprehensive lease agreement. The agreement should cover any issues that may affect specific properties. A skilled real estate attorney can help you create a solid lease agreement specifying the following:
- Which party is responsible for paying for utilities
- Which party is responsible for trash collection
- Which party is responsible for cable utilities and internet
- Whether the landlord must provide a security system
- Whether the property requires lawn care and who is responsible for lawn care
- Whether there is a penalty for the tenant’s failure to provide lawn care
Early Lease Termination Clause
In some cases, tenants may need to leave a rental unit before the lease empires. Every lease agreement should include an early termination clause. The clause should state the renter’s responsibilities, the early termination fees, the provision of timely early notice, and other specified terms. Lease agreements should also contain provisions specifying what will happen when a dispute arises between the landlord and tenant. For example, some lease agreements require the parties to attend arbitration when disputes arise.
The Benefits of Working with an Attorney as a Pittsburgh Tenant
Your landlord may pressure you to sign a lease agreement quickly. Before you sign the agreement, it’s best to work with a trusted real estate attorney who can carefully review your lease agreement. The attorneys at Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace will review the lease agreement and help you understand your rights. We will identify any potential red flags in the lease agreement and work to negotiate a lease agreement with more favorable terms.
Our attorneys have extensive experience negotiating the lease terms and ensuring all aspects of the lease are legally sound. As with any contractual agreement, there will likely be fine print in the lease agreement that may seem insignificant but could become detrimental. Violating a valid lease agreement because you didn’t understand the terms could cost you financially.
The Benefits of Working with an Attorney as a Pittsburgh Landlord
Many landlords rely on boilerplate lease agreements they access online. Although using a boilerplate lease agreement may be more affordable up-front, several problems can result from using boilerplate lease agreements. An attorney with your specific case in mind will not review lease agreements purchased from online legal document companies.
When you work with Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace, you can rest assured we will listen to your unique concerns when we draft a unique lease agreement for you. We will ensure that the terms of your lease agreement comply with Pennsylvania landlord-tenant laws. Our attorneys can also ensure that any conditions vital to you are included, such as pet-related rules.
Discuss Your Case with a Pittsburgh Real Estate Attorney
If you live in Pittsburgh or the surrounding area and are in the middle of a real estate transaction, you’ll benefit from having an attorney. The Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace attorneys will put your interests and needs first. Whether you are a landlord or tenant, we will work with you to draft, negotiate, or review your lease agreement. Don’t hesitate to contact Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace to discuss your case with a skilled real estate attorney.