Every landlord or property management company needs to understand their obligations under the law as well as their desires in landlord-tenant relationships. Therefore, residential leases must conform to all relevant state and federal laws, as well as clearly denote the rights and obligations of all parties.
A failure to have a proper lease can lead to a variety of legal troubles and headaches. Most directly, a tenant may refuse to pay rent or vacate an apartment due to ambiguous terms. In addition, local housing regulators may void a lease or issue civil penalties for improper leasing processes.
Working with a Bloomington residential lease drafting lawyer could help protect the rights of landlords and property management companies as well as the rights of renters. An experienced real estate attorney can work to author leases that clearly denote the roles of all parties and that meet all relevant laws.
Drafting Contracts that Define the Landlord/Tenant Relationship
The residential lease is the only document that describes the legal landlord/tenant relationship. Even if other documents such as emails or text messages appear to discuss lease terms, the contract itself is the sole controlling document that defines the rights of each party.
As a result, it is essential to draft a residential lease for each tenant that is specific and clear. These leases must include common topics such as the rent, when it is due, and who may live in the unit. In addition, other portions of the lease may apply specifically to each tenant, such as the right to have a pet, who may visit the apartment, and which party is liable for utilities.
A Bloomington residential lease drafting lawyer could help craft a standardized lease that applies to every tenant. This can serve a basis for all landlord/tenant relationships. If the need arises to make changes to an individual lease, a lawyer could also help make the necessary modifications requested by either a landlord or a tenant.
State and Federal Requirements for Bloomington Residential Leases
While courts are generally hesitant to interfere with the language of a contract, various state and federal laws do place restrictions on how landlords and tenants may enter into leases. On the most basic state level, Minnesota Statute §504B.111 requires that all landlords who oversee a building with at least 12 units must provide a written lease to all tenants. Furthermore, MN Statute §504B.115 states that all tenants must receive a signed copy of that lease.
In addition, state law also provides that all residential leases must place certain duties on a landlord. Under MN Statute §504B.161, these include:
- Ensuring the unit and common areas are fit for tenant use
- Keeping the premises in reasonable repair
- Making the unit energy efficient
- Maintaining the property to all health and safety codes
No residential lease may contain any clause that takes this burden off the landlord. Certain federal laws also constrict the right of free contract in residential leases. Most prominent is the Fair Housing Act that prohibits most landlords from discriminating against tenants or potential tenants because of tier race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or familial status. A Bloomington lawyer could help ensure that residential leases do not violate any state or federal laws.
Call a Bloomington Residential Lease Drafting Attorney
An attorney could help draft leases in a way that protects your rights and needs. They can also participate in the negotiation of agreements when a tenant requires special accommodation. Finally, a Bloomington residential lease drafting attorney could author a contact in a way that does not conflict with state, federal, or local laws. Discuss your needs with an attorney by calling today.