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What are leasing basics everyone should understand? Pt. 1

California is a highly desirable area in which to live. Therefore, it can be smart business for entrepreneurs to invest in real estate. Some people do that by buying residential properties and renting them out.

On the other end of that scenario is the tenant. Someone (maybe you) might want or need to rent your home or apartment in California versus buying it. There are the two sides to this real estate relationship. The common thread grounding the relationship is real estate law.

The following are some basic laws related to real estate and leases in particular:

Terms of lease

There are a couple of matters required to be written out within a lease agreement in order for it to be valid. First, the amount for rent must be detailed in the contract. Also, how often the payments are to be made (week-to-week, month-to-month, etc.) must be clear in the agreement. Another detail that must be in a lease agreement is how long this relationship will last. More simply, is this a year lease? Is it two years?

Options a landlord could add to terms of lease

Since a landlord owns the property that will be leased, generally he or she has the right to set some terms they want that go beyond the musts within leasing contracts. These details might include rules about late fees, having pets within the premises, maintenance of the property, smoking within the property and more. There are limits, however, to what a landlord can require and ask. The landlord/tenant relationship is still governed by larger laws that prohibit discrimination and protect rights to privacy. 

We will continue this line of conversation in future posts. This is an area of real estate law with complexities on both sides of the business equation. Certain leasing disputes can feel quite personal when it is a person's residence at stake. Lease disputes can, therefore, get heated. 

If you are in the midst or perhaps looking to avoid a lease dispute, working with a real estate lawyer in California can best prepare you for what's ahead and help protect your best interests.

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