Tenant agreements can be created by either a written or an oral lease. While both of these forms of agreement are protected by law, it is prudent to create a written lease agreement in almost all circumstances. Even written lease agreements can become outdated of course, resulting in a month-to-month or holdover tenancy that operates under slightly different rules.
Overall, written lease agreements are important because they make the conditions of the lease easy to verify and enforce in courts. In the same way, they can protect you from charges that have been levelled against you by a tenant. You should choose to create lease agreements and to renew them properly when they expire for several reasons. Consider the importance of these advantages when it comes to a tenant dispute:
Lease Agreements Clarify Landlord Responsibilities
It is important that you produce a written lease agreement that establishes and clarifies your responsibilities to the tenant. There are many landlord responsibilities that may be covered in New Jersey. Without a lease agreement, you may be accused by the tenant of failing to meet your responsibilities. Without the evidence that a documented lease provides, you may be compelled to pay damages to a tenant for problems that should have been their responsibility.
Lease Agreements Protect Your Right to Collect Fees
Without a lease agreement, it’s far more difficult to recover fees that can be used to repair damage to your property. With a lease agreements, you can strictly define what parts of the property must be protected. You can set the type and amount of any fees, and have the tenant agree to them in writing.
You have options when it comes to fees for direct damage to the property. However, when it comes to compliance-based fees such as late fees, collection can be next to impossible without proof or the cooperation of the tenant in confirming their responsibilities.
Lease Agreements Simplify the Eviction Process
Lease agreements greatly simplify the eviction process by establishing terms for eviction. In order to prove that a tenant is violating the lease, you will need to show which terms of the lease they are violating. That is very difficult when you are relying on an oral lease. Habits such as allowing late payments habitually can be interpreted as a policy, and that can make it very hard to evict if you run out of patience with late rent.
Can You Evict a Tenant without a Lease?
While oral leases can complicate an eviction, it is still possible to evict a tenant. There are several ways that you can better prepare yourself to evict a tenant, including by preparing a written lease to go into force in the next month, or by submitting warnings to tenants that give them adequate notice that they must vacate the property.
If you would like assistance with creating a written lease agreement, contact our landlord tenant lawyers in New Jersey.