Many landlords and prospective tenants may not see the need for a written lease agreement.
It is, however, necessary to emphasise the benefits of a lease agreement:
- A lease agreement that is simply governed by a handshake will easily cause trouble. There won’t be certainty on the exact terms of the contract, and when disputes arise, the water is dirty and confusing when needing to figure out what was agreed to and what needs to happen. A written lease agreement will create greater certainty in this regard.
- A written lease agreement will explicitly outline the responsibilities of a landlord and a tenant, which comes in handy during the day-to-day course of renting a property and when disputes arise.
- A written lease agreement will also give certainty on how to evict a non-paying tenant and the procedures to follow when there is a breach of the lease agreement.
- A written lease agreement will also clearly outline the rights of a tenant and landlord. Often when a dispute arises between a landlord and a tenant, particularly when lawyers get involved, one party may feel they don’t have rights and don’t know how to fight the legal mechanics that come into play. The lease agreement can be a valuable resource to help that party figure out what their rights are.
- A written lease agreement will certainty also tell the landlord and tenant what happens when there is damage to the rental property and who will be responsible for paying for the damages, and under what circumstance one party will be liable and not the other.
With these benefits in mind, landlords and tenants would do well to ensure that their relationship is governed by a written lease agreement. Having a written lease agreement drafted is one of the most simple ways an attorney can help out a landlord or a tenant.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to give general information. The article is not meant to give formal legal and professional advice to a client. Contact Lombard & Partners Inc at 012 346 6969 / firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice or to book a consultation.
Author: HARDUS ENGELBRECHT / CANDIDATE ATTORNEY