Don’t Fill in the Blanks

Crafting contracts may look simple, but clients going it alone may be clueless about the risks involved.

This week I was speaking with a landlord who has his tenant on a lease that the landlord prepared.  The lease (like most leases) describes a total amount due under the lease.  In this case (as in most cases) the total amount due was equal to 12 times the monthly rent.  However, the landlord had scratched out the term and changed it to “indefinite”.  Both parties initialed that change.

The landlord intended that to mean that the tenant could stay forever, but that there would be annual increases to cover the condominium fee and taxes (which always go up). But the contract seemed to imply that the tenant had a lifetime tenancy.  I referred the landlord to an attorney as this could be a real mess.

My advice is don’t write your own lease.  Simple changes and oversights or errors put both parties at risk for catastrophe.


Source: Don’t Fill in the Blanks

Real Estate

Will Nesbitt

View posts by Will Nesbitt
Will is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and Condo Alexandria. He is licensed in anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but focuses on those communities found in and around Alexandria, Arlington, Mount Vernon and Springfield/Franconia. Will has been involved in real estate management, sales and investment for more than twenty years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. While in the army, he studied Russian at Monterey's Defense Language Institute. He is also a "veteran of the dotcom wars" and built most of the sites associated with Will currently resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Old Town, overlooking New Alexandria. He is a former president of the Mount Vernon Youth Athletic Association and founded the Alexandria Fun with Friends Group. Will is the author of BattlestorM, a tabletop fantasy game, which was published by Ral Partha Publishing in the late '90's, and Arthur's Realm, a boardgame available at the Gamecrafter.