Leasing & Property Management Series - Residential Lease

A successful listing has brought a great tenant for your client.  Now, you’re ready to write the lease.  Time to think of everything - when is move in, where to pay rent, when is rent late, what if your client’s tenant is late paying, how much will he charge for late fees, what if they don’t pay at all, who is responsible for yard care, what if something breaks, who pays the utilities, who pays HOA dues - EVERYTHING. 

The lease contract should list who the parties are in the transaction, the terms of the lease, and the consequences should one or the other party default on the contract.

As a Texas Realtor, the Texas Association of Realtors Residential Lease is your go-to lease form.  The Texas Association of Realtors Residential Lease was developed to protect the Landlord and the Tenant in a lease transaction.  Please be aware that use of the TAR Residential Lease without the assistance of a licensed Texas Realtor is not authorized.  Any use without the assistance of a Texas Realtor will render the document void and unenforceable.  You should not provide a copy to anyone for use without the assistance of a Texas Realtor.

There are several addenda to the Residential Lease available to address Lead-Based Paint, Pools and Spas, Pets, etc.  If your client’s property has a special circumstance that you believe cannot be addressed adequately in Special Provisions, you are well advised to consult with an attorney about drawing up an addendum for the lease.  The last thing you want is for the unexpected to happen and your client finds the lease contract is unenforceable in court.  How will your client then evict a defaulting tenant, recover lost rent, or recoup loss from damages?

One responsibility of a Professional Property Manager is to protect the client and their asset from liability and loss.  Property Managers have the experience and knowledge to ask the right questions and complete an enforceable lease.  If you are going to help your client with leasing their property, you must become familiar with Texas Property Code regarding residential leases and local ordinances in addition to the application of Fair Housing Laws to residential leasing.

Guest contributor Marye Davenport, Property Management Director 3G Properties