Updated: Jun 28, 2019
Why did we include a section dedicated to lease agreements into this material? When you rent a flat or a house, you can get a lease contract template from:
the Internet (the worst possible scenario);
your landlord – a very bad option for you as well, unless you wisely revise and amend it. If your landlord insists that you cannot amend the template, then ask yourself “Why does the landlord does this?” and think about looking better for another place and landlord;
your real estate broker you hired to find you a dwelling. Honestly, I never saw a good, tenant protecting lease agreement used by real estate agencies and brokers. In most of cases they simply take drafts from the Internet because your broker will not hire a lawyer to draft a good lease agreement for you.
Here you can download our specially tailored lease agreement template protecting tenant’s rights.
Of course, it must not be a “take it or leave it” template, it might be amended according to your particular situation and landlord, but anyway it encompasses our 14-year experience in real estate deals. Below we are going to explain what is so unique in this template.
Imagine a situation that your landlord owes money to a bank and does not return the debt. The bank files a lawsuit and wins but landlord does not pay anyway. The bank involves the State Law Enforcement Service of Ukraine whose officers arrest the landlord’s apartment. They come, lock the apartment and seal it so no one could enter it. They also can get inside and inventory all of stuff inside the apartment to confiscate it as well.
Now imagine that all the mentioned above happened to an apartment you are renting. You return home from work but bumps into a closed sealed door and all your belongings inside are inventoried and are going to be sold on an auction to repay the landlord’s loan. You do not have now where to live and keep all your belongings. The State Law Enforcement Service of Ukraine does not know who all those laptop, TV set, chair, bed, boots, coats, dishes, pots, etc. belong to. They are in the landlord’s apartment so they are considered as property of the landlord by default. So, you will have a lot of trouble to prove that that Swiss watch and the golden ring are yours but not of the landlord.
Another situation. You come home (to your rented apartment) and notice that there is no entrance door. It just stands nearby. You come in and witness a huge mess inside. It is not a burglary. It is just a result of a search conducted by police in the apartment because there is a criminal case against your landlord. The police got a search warrant, executed it and left before your return home.
If you had a lawyer, he would check for court cases pertinent to your landlord or the apartment. He would also check for criminal cases against the landlord. And he would set forth relevant liability of the landlord for such cases in your lease agreement. Neither your broker nor a notary checks on such things. A notary, for example, just makes sure that the person selling or leasing out a place has rights to do so and the place is transferrable.
A good lease agreement is not the one that merely says you can live there and you must pay for this. A good lease agreement (from the tenant’s) point of view should:
make sure the tenant has basic rights and will not be a slave of the validity period of the agreement. It is important when by some reason you must move out but the lease agreement does not provide for an option of early termination so the tenant has to keep paying the rent;
define who is liable for damages when your flat’s tap valve broke and flooded your neighbors below;
protect tenant from an increase of the rent payment whenever and whatever the landlord wants;
regulate many more other important rights and obligations of the parties.
There are many matters that are regulated by law if otherwise is not expressly set forth in the agreement. By merely reading clauses of the agreement you will never notice all pitfalls.
Contact Legal Ideas law firm to get advice on your personal case.