Owners of residential buildings in New York City understand the importance of a well-drafted lease. The lease is the foundation of the relationship between landlord and tenant. It is a legally binding contract that will likely be consulted by both sides in the event of a dispute between the parties. And in New York, more so than many other cities, it must comply with a myriad of state and local laws. A well-drafted lease agreement can help a landlord avoid expensive lease disputes with tenants.
One of the most important goals in drafting a residential lease is to make sure it is clear and unambiguous. The lease should be written in plain English and not cluttered with technical legal terms. It should be easy for any tenant to read and understand. A poorly drafted lease is an invitation to misunderstandings with tenants. If a court finds a provision in the lease is not clear, it is more likely to interpret that provision in the tenant's favor, even if a different meaning was intended by the landlord.
The lease should clearly state the amount of the rent and when it is due. It should also clearly indicate whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for paying utilities and other charges, and it should clearly set out how those charges will be calculated.
In New York City, there are a number of laws that landlords must comply with when renting property. It is essential to be aware of these laws and avoid drafting a lease that may violate them. In rent-regulated properties, tenants have important rights when it comes to renewing the lease. Violating these rights, even if unintentionally, can be an expensive mistake for a landlord.