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Rental Lease Agreement in Queens: What Information Should Be Included?

If you plan to become a landlord you will need to protect yourself and your property by creating a lease agreement and requiring your renters to sign the agreement. Although you can buy "fill-in-the-blank" lease forms from the local stationary store or download them from the internet it is never a good idea to use forms that have not been reviewed by an attorney. Boilerplate forms are frequently out of date, not state specific, and may fail to include all of the terms you need in your lease agreement. Some of the most common terms and provisions found in a rental lease agreement in Queens include:

         Parties - the parties to the agreement should be identified by names and social security number or date of birth.

         Property - both the physical street address and the legal description may be included.

         Price - the deposit amount as well as the monthly rent amount should be included. When the rent is due will also be stated here.

         Duration - the beginning and ending date of the lease must be included as well as whether or not the lease can automatically be renewed by either, or both,

 party(ies).

         Default - specific reasons for default should be included, such as non-payment of rent, abandoning the property, or violating a provision of the lease.

         Condition - most leases include a clause indicating that the property is habitable and that the renters accept the property as is.

         Sub-lease - if the lessee is allowed to sub-lease the terms would be stated here. If no sub-leasing is allowed it should be specified.

         Utilities - responsibility for the water, electric, gas, cable, and trash pickup needs to be clear.

         Restrictions - this can include a pet restriction, a business operation restriction, or any other specific activity you wish to prevent from occurring on the property.

         Repairs and Maintenance - who is responsible for day to day repairs and who is responsible for major repairs?

         Choice of law - in the event of a dispute it is in your best interest to have a choice of  law provision in the lease to ensure that the dispute will be litigated in the state where you wish it to be litigated.

         Attorney fees and costs - often, failing to include a provision making the lessee responsible for attorney fees should you need to evict the tenant means you will not be awarded attorney fees.

While these are all common provisions in a standard rental lease agreement in Queens, there is no substitute for having an experienced attorney prepare your lease agreement for you. Contact the attorneys at SIMON & GILMAN, LLP to discuss your lease agreement needs.

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