New landlords often make the same types of mistakes. One common error is believing that a lease agreement will protect you from any and all situations and that your lease will never need to be changed once it is signed.
However, lease addendums are commonly used by experienced landlords, and there are reasons they are so incredibly important in successful rental business management.
Working as a landlord, there is no doubt that you will run into problems from time to time. Sometimes, your tenant will want to change things about the property and how they use it. If you don’t know how to use lease addendums properly, it will be challenging to adapt to and profit from these situations.
What are lease addendums? Why do they matter so much to landlords? Learn about these added provisions that can alter and improve your lease agreement at any time during a rental period. You’ll learn the common ways landlords around the country implement these important legal documents.
Table Of Contents: Rental Addendums Explained
Do you feel like your lease covers everything for every situation? It would be hard to have a single lease that does that, which is why experienced landlords use a variety of rental addendums. Learn all about these addendums and how to use them today:
- What Are Lease Addendums?
- Why Are Lease Addendums Important For Landlords?
- When Should Addendums To Lease Agreements Be Made?
- How To Write And Add Rental Addendums
- FAQs On Addendums To Rental Agreements
- Lease Addendum Meaning: More Than A Lease
Lease addendums, also known as lease addenda, are legal documents used to add terms to an original rental agreement. Often, these lease addendums add information that wasn’t covered in the original lease.
Lease addendums are often confused with lease amendments, but there is some overlap between the two. Lease amendments are used to alter the original lease agreement, while addendums typically tack something onto the contract. Each of these documents may do a little bit of both, which is why the information must be very clear.
Lease addendums are legally binding documents between landlords and tenants once they are signed. Both parties are aware of the information in the document and agree with it. This agreement is shown when both parties sign off on the addendum.
When renting to a tenant, you will often want to have them sign your basic lease agreement as well as several lease addendums that provide further information and clarification for the specific rental period and property. This allows you to have a single lease template that can be used for various situations.
Before adding a lease addendum to your agreement, it’s important to keep in mind why landlords add them in the first place.
No matter how well you write your lease agreement, there is no way to cover every possible situation. Issues will come up that require addendums; tenants will want to change how they use the property. These situations happen, and you need a means to codify the changes in a legally binding way.
That’s where the lease addendum comes in.
Beyond what you originally wrote in the rental agreement, the addendum will ensure that you can continue to manage the property securely even as things change.
As well as providing you with additional protections, lease addendums also enable you to take tenant needs and wants into account. Tenants halfway through their lease may decide they want to paint the property, get a pet, or otherwise alter the property in a way that wasn’t covered in the original lease agreement.
You can make these changes possible through lease addendums if you are amenable to them. Not only does this legally protect your business and property, but it also makes the tenant happy. And happy tenants tend to rent for longer periods, which will improve the overall profitability of your business.
Finally, having a variety of addendums that can be used during rental agreement signing or later on in a lease period simplifies your document management. You can have a single lease agreement template for all properties. Then, specific addendums applicable to each property and situation can be signed along with the lease agreement.
This method allows you to have a variety of templates on hand that can be used at any time. Experienced landlords find this to be a significant timesaver. Additionally, these documents provide a lot of flexibility in managing each property without adding too much work.
Addendums can be used in many different situations to add and clarify things that were not in the original agreement. Specifically, landlords find lease addendums beneficial when:
- Addressing pet rules and regulations
- Authorizing tenants to do special things, like parking in a designated garage
- Accommodating a special request
- Modifying the original lease in some way
- Adding a new tenant or cosigner to the original lease
- Clearing up roommate rules and possibilities
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different lease addendums that could be added to a lease agreement. It’s valuable to focus on learning about the most common types of addendums, and that’s where we’ve put time into creating resources for landlords like you.
Here at RentPrep, we’ve put a lot of time into creating valuable templates and reference guides for different kinds of addendums. Learn more about each type of addendum at the links below.
- Pet addendums
- Furnished apartment lease addendum
- Condition of premises addendum
- Garage rental addendum
- Internet access addendum
- Snow and ice removal
- Housekeeping addendum
- Co-signer addendum
- Swimming pool addendum
The specific process of writing a lease addendum will vary from lease to lease, depending on the topic of the addendum. The language needed will rely on the content, and you should make sure to use language that is clear and thorough.
For clarity, it is best to split up addendums according to the policy that will be covered. Landlords should have a separate pet addendum and a pool addendum, not a combination pet and pool addendum. This provides clarity and organization to the legal documents being used.
However, some general things should be included in all addendums regardless of the topic. Those include:
- Landlord name(s)
- Tenant name(s)
- Property address
- Date being signed
- Effective date
- Consequences for breaking the lease or addendum
- Landlord signature and date
- Tenant signature and date
All of this information must be presented in a way that is compliant with all local landlord-tenant laws. If the addendum is not in line with proper procedure, a court could find it invalid. No landlord wants to be in eviction court holding an invalid contract, so be sure that you review all of your documents thoroughly. If you are unsure, consult an experienced lawyer for help.
Keep the addendum with the original lease once all parties have signed it. The lease agreement is still in effect, and any signed lease addendums are also in effect. Keep these documents organized so that you can review them as needed.
There are an incredible number of documents that are useful to have on hand as a landlord, and it can be a challenge to create them all yourself. RentPrep offers a high-quality Landlord Form Bundle Mega Pack that you can download from right now.
By visiting the download page, gain access to not only a variety of rental application supplements and lease templates, but also a variety of lease addendums that you can adapt for your business. With the help of these forms, you can quickly and easily create a folder of templates that can be referenced when you need new documentation at a moment’s notice.
Adding in addendums into a rental agreement can be quite the process. Here are the most frequently asked questions in regards to addendums to a lease.
Let’s simplify the process of writing a lease addendum down the barebones steps:
- Name all individuals included in the contract, including all parties on the original lease agreement.
- List the date that the agreement is being signed and the date the new terms will be practical.
- Specify what is being added to the lease. Be sure to clarify what, if anything, from the original contract is being replaced. Keep it clear and concise.
- Have all parties sign the agreement.
Writing an excellent lease addendum is not that complicated when broken down into the simplest parts. The same rules that are followed when writing a lease apply here, so landlords familiar with rental agreement writing will find it simple to create lease addendums once they gain some experience with this type of contract.
Typically, provisions are specific clauses laid out within the original lease. Both the original lease agreement and a lease addendum can include multiple provisions, though a lease agreement is likely to be lengthier than an addendum.
Provisions are often referred to as clauses. Each provision in a lease agreement or lease addendum should be as short, clear, and concise as possible. This enables all parties to work together with trust and transparency.
Legal language will need to be used in specific clauses in some states and areas. This is to comply with landlord-tenant laws. Be sure to follow these rules as needed when writing any lease agreements or lease addendums. If you are unsure about compliance, work with an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer in your area for clarification.
Just as the lease agreement needs to be signed by all parties, lease addendums also must be signed by all parties to be legally binding. If they do not provide their signatures, the addendum is not considered effective or legal because they have not consented to the changes. Make sure that everyone signs all addendums so they are enforceable.
Tenants are not required to sign an addendum after their original lease agreement has been signed. If the addendum is included as part of the original lease, then the tenant will have to agree to rent the property.
However, once the rental agreement is in effect, the tenant has no legal responsibility to agree to a lease addendum. In most cases, tenants are the ones who want to change or add to the original lease agreement. For that reason, it’s usually not a big issue to add addendums to the lease agreement when needed.
Typically, amendments and addendums are different things, but there is often overlap in how these two terms are used within the rental industry.
An amendment is a document created to change part of an original contract. On the other hand, addendums are usually made to add information that was not included initially or clarified in the lease agreement. Since these additions may overwrite the original contract, there is overlap with what an amendment does.
As long as the documents are written correctly and signed by all parties, they are legally binding and what they are called is not essential.
New lease agreements are great. Landlords should spend time making sure that their rental agreement template is strong, secure, and covers all essential provisions. However, it’s also important to remember that not every lease will cover everything.
Having lease addendums, which can be included with or added onto lease agreements as needed, ready to go is the sign of a great landlord. Most landlords and property managers will have addendum templates for the following on hand at all times:
- Pet addendums
- Garage rental addendums
- Co-signer addendums
The exact addendums that are most valuable to your business may be different from these. Whatever those addendums are, make sure to create strong templates that you can use at any time. This will enable you to be a better, more profitable landlord.
Tenants appreciate the clarity and flexibility provided by addendums, and you will appreciate the additional assurances.