Read lease at signing?
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Read lease at signing? (by MikeA [TX]) Jul 25, 2022 9:18 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by Jason [VA]) Jul 25, 2022 9:24 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by MC [PA]) Jul 25, 2022 9:37 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by Roy [AL]) Jul 25, 2022 9:42 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by Rick [IN]) Jul 25, 2022 11:12 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by mike [CA]) Jul 25, 2022 11:45 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by Ed [CA]) Jul 25, 2022 12:21 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by WMH [NC]) Jul 25, 2022 12:40 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Jeffrey [VA]) Jul 25, 2022 12:56 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by MikeA [TX]) Jul 25, 2022 1:30 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by MC [PA]) Jul 25, 2022 1:48 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Robert J [CA]) Jul 25, 2022 2:37 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by T [IN]) Jul 25, 2022 2:44 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by jonny [NY]) Jul 25, 2022 3:00 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Hoosier [IN]) Jul 25, 2022 3:12 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Pmh [TX]) Jul 25, 2022 3:37 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by WMH [NC]) Jul 25, 2022 4:14 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Roy [AL]) Jul 25, 2022 5:00 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by WMH [NC]) Jul 25, 2022 5:01 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by MikeA [TX]) Jul 25, 2022 6:40 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Jul 25, 2022 7:49 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by 6x6 [TN]) Jul 25, 2022 9:40 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by DJ [VA]) Jul 25, 2022 10:50 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jul 26, 2022 8:10 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jul 26, 2022 8:13 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by S i d [MO]) Jul 26, 2022 9:19 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by MikeA [TX]) Jul 26, 2022 10:27 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by S i d [MO]) Jul 26, 2022 10:38 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by Hoosier [IN]) Jul 26, 2022 10:56 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by mike [CA]) Jul 26, 2022 12:29 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Nicole [PA]) Jul 26, 2022 1:04 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Deanna [TX]) Jul 26, 2022 3:16 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by 6x6 [TN]) Jul 26, 2022 7:10 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jul 26, 2022 10:44 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jul 27, 2022 3:15 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Jul 28, 2022 8:50 AM
       Read lease at signing? (by Lumberman1987 [PA]) Aug 8, 2022 10:04 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by David [MI]) Aug 8, 2022 10:27 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Honey [LA]) Aug 9, 2022 4:35 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by April [KS]) Aug 9, 2022 10:07 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Fred [VA]) Aug 10, 2022 10:54 PM
       Read lease at signing? (by Cynthia Ferry [TN]) Aug 13, 2022 6:26 PM

Read lease at signing? (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 9:18 AM

Interested to know how you folks are handling going over the lease at move-in. I've heard everything from playing a video where it is gone over in great detail to doing nothing more than having them sign it because they don't listen anyway.

So, how do you indoctrinate new tenants to the rules in the lease? It would help to know if you do electronic lease signing or paper signing for context.

Read lease at signing? (by Jason [VA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 9:24 AM

I skim over the main talking points. One of those talking points emphasizes that we DO NOT plunge toilets and that they are responsible for all plumbing stoppages. Iíd like to assume that all of my tenants are literate so Iím not going to read the whole thing for them.

Read lease at signing? (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 9:37 AM

I used to read, sometimes skim and now I am present when they read. I tell them to ask question if they don't understand something. Adults-legal to sign contracts.

Read lease at signing? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 9:42 AM

My no-legal jargon lease is only 4 pages long (one sided too) and is written to where a person with only an 8th grade education can understand it. Like Jason, I read and discuss with them the main talking points which are things like 'how rent is to paid and what happens immediately when rent is not paid by the due date'.

Read lease at signing? (by Rick [IN]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 11:12 AM

Tell the prospective tenant to read the lease completely -- mine is 1 page front and 1/2 page back -- and I ask them after they have done so are there any questions.

After this is answered I then collect first month and damage deposit.

Read lease at signing? (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 11:45 AM

we cover EVERY page of my 14-18 pager and they initial each page. some pages are simple and treat a single item like plumbing stoppages or smoking. i tell them that since we covered everything important BEFORE they got the keys (and i got their money) they have no legitimate reason to complain later. I spend extra time on late fees and that the rent is DUE on the first and LATE on the second. for some reason they all think the law grants a grace period. in california it does not, nor do i. i tell them i am not in the late fee business and never want to take one but explain that if they are late the late fee will be used for airline tickets, fancy beer and fine steaks. i advise them to pay on time and buy those things for themselves. --75.80.xx.xx

Read lease at signing? (by Ed [CA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 12:21 PM

I have a three page rental agreement, but then I also have several attachments including a 4 page "community rules" document, the Federal required lead paint attachment, the California required mold document, a smoke and CO detector acknowledgment, a fireplace use attachment (used on properties with fireplace), a pet agreement (used for tenants with approved pets), and a move-in condition form. --108.201.xx.xx

Read lease at signing? (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 12:40 PM

I have a 14 page lease. 6 pages of NC legalese, then a bunch of addendum that break down the legalese into English, and add my Pet Lease, etc. I customize and then upload to PDFiller, send it out to be signed electronically. My Welcome Message (a feature of PDFiller) says to read, ASK QUESTIONS, initial and sign where indicated. Most of my tenants DO read - I know because they do ask questions sometimes.

Read lease at signing? (by Jeffrey [VA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 12:56 PM

One landlord wants to know if the residents really read the lease. He shared an idea to include a statement toward the second half of the lease, that reads: WELCOME GIFT - As a welcome gift you can deduct $10 off your second month's rent. However, this gift is only redeemable on your second month.

Read lease at signing? (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 1:30 PM

That's an interesting approach Jeffrey. I wonder what percentage of new leases got a welcome gift.

Personally, I go through some of the areas I've had problems with. An example of this is where tenants forget to mow the strip of grass behind the back fence along the alley. I have routinely received notices from the city for weeds in the alley so I go over this, I tell them the city will reward them with a bill for $175 for a 3 foot strip of grass if they forget. I also cover rent payment procedures, late fees, and smoke alarms. I intentionally only hit the highlights so they don't tune out the droning on of rules. I try to add humor to keep them engaged like Mike(CA) does.

The reason I asked, I'm looking to automate the lease signing process by going electronic. There won't be a time to meet tenants to go through this so I was considering sending a link to a video to go with the electronic lease so I was wondering if others did this. If I remember Brad 20,000 did this years ago at in-person signings.

Read lease at signing? (by MC [PA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 1:48 PM

Mine also initial on each page, included the lead possibility one(we never had it tested). Sign on 2 pages,etc. My lease is about 7 pages as well two sided. Always stuff you learn to add.

Read lease at signing? (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 2:37 PM

I explain to my lease signers (new tenants) that my lease is a Standard Apartment Association Lease, with a few extra add-on -- that I go over with them. That this short lease (2 to 4 pages) is not designed to favor landlords over tenants, it has some protections for both parties.

I then go over each section and give a brief explanation, allowing then to read over the lease after I give them my short version. My process takes around 5 minutes and I allow them to read over the lease by themselves And ask any Questions.

One thing in my lease is it limits legal costs given to the prevailing party to $500. If the tenant wins, their attorney only can charge me $500 in legal costs. If I loose, I'll never see a dime anyways with any judgements -- the tenant will simply file for bankruptcy. Also all attorneys that see this clause will drop my tenant as a client. --47.156.xx.xx

Read lease at signing? (by T [IN]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 2:44 PM

Use to meet, exchange funds for keys, and sign the lease. I would go over it, hitting the major points... have them sign.

Now, I'll Docusign the lease pages. They can wire/electronic transfer the funds prior to or when we meet. The meeting is to get the keys and ask any final questions. Another local LL mentioned just leave the keys on the counter or lockbox... starts to feel "scam" to me. Plus, its one more time to meet your new resident, answer questions, get them on your "page."

Read lease at signing? (by jonny [NY]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 3:00 PM

I read the lease in front of the tenants and tell them to stop me if they have any questions. Some do, some don't (most will just say "oh wow ... it's sad you have to put some of those things in there since it's just common sense") haha.

They initial each page as we go along and they get a copy to review as well. Some just stand there and initial where I tell them to and others are more involved. They get a copy to keep so it's up to them after that.

I have one that just left and seems to think that stating "I have a copy of my lease and I know my rights!!" is a threat or something. Along with the fact that "I have pictures!!"

HAHAHA ... so do I ... so do I. --68.9.xx.xx

Read lease at signing? (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 3:12 PM

I forward a copy of the lease via email 1-2 days before the signing and suggest they read it and come prepared with any questions. Then I show up with the hard copy and tell them they are entitled to read every word if they want, but there are some key paragraphs and those we will specifically talk about. My lease signing takes about 75-90 minutes...and includes a walk-through of the property, check smoke alarms, noting of any defects on the "move in condition" form, we inspect the bedbug traps I put out about a week in advance and they sign a form stating no bedbugs were in the traps when they moved in, and we fill out all the required forms and sign as needed. When done, I go to a nearby copier store, make a copy of all signed documents and deliver the copy back to them within 48 hours. I follow up with an email stating that I left the copy at their house...and then I print this email and put it in the file.

One thing I started doing recently is putting a "lease signing start time" and "lease signing ending time" on the lease, and we fill in the times and initial next to them. This provides me with some proof in court that we didn't just "breeze through" the lease, but rather discussed it at length.

Read lease at signing? (by Pmh [TX]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 3:37 PM

I donít read anything. if they canít read they probably wouldnít have qualified in the first place. they do have to initial each page & sign and date on last page.

Read lease at signing? (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 4:14 PM

Jeffrey, interesting idea. But being a hard a$$, I rather think they are owed no "gift" for being an adult and knowing what they are signing up to. Our lease is neither pro-us or them, it's a very balanced contract and I'm not going to reward them for reading it like a grown-up should.

Read lease at signing? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 5:00 PM

Just reading a lease is one thing,...but abiding by the terms of that lease is whole another topic. Most tenants know they have to sign the lease before getting the keys to the front door but after that it is anybody's guess as to whether they plan on abiding my the terms of that lease.

Read lease at signing? (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 5:01 PM

True Roy BUT the value in a signed lease is the ability to "CUT & PASTE" the clause along with a "NOTICE TO CURE" within X days and there can be no arguing as to why.

Read lease at signing? (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 6:40 PM

Also, by reading it to them they can't say "hey I didn't know that" without also admitting that they didn't listen which they won't do. The theory being it will cut down on arguments. Either way, it really doesn't matter I guess, it's the signed lease that maters. As my old boss used to say if it's not written and signed for then it didn't happen. The judge only cares what is signed in the lease.

Read lease at signing? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 7:49 PM

Very interesting timing........the first 30 days of the lease are a make or break point. I consider the move indoctrination period as my training opportunity to work out any small issues before they become big concerns (either theirs or mine).

I wish more folks would not be afraid to ask a new resident, how is the move in coming along? Do you have any questions or concerns that we can work on together? Many of our residents have already agreed to pay a $200 or a $250 repair deductible, so by asking in this manner, I am encouraging them to get trained up on filter changing, how to reset the thermostat and how they will lock themselves out of Landlord Locks.

What is really going on though? I am checking for that illegal pet, illegal guest, or that the trash service hasn't started yet. I want to be proactive instead of reactive.

As for the move in, I use the rent talk video that MB sells and I go over the house rules in detail. I will go over the highlights of the lease but I don't insult anyone by reading the thing to them.

Read lease at signing? (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 9:40 PM

I have tried a few things and will learn more here.

I have tried reading it to them, takes too long.

I have tried going over it together, takes too long.

I have tried having them read it, takes too long.

Maybe I have been insulting them as Ray mentioned?

I think Letting them review it before lease signing, as Hoosier stated, is a good idea. I think Robert J does this as well?

Ray has made some interesting points.

I am not sure how well I would like an automated lease?

Lots of good points so far.

Have any of you ever been asked questions about the lease, then you didn't really know how to best answer? Perhaps I should ask that in another post.

Read lease at signing? (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Jul 25, 2022 10:50 PM

I just entered into a Rental Agreement with someone in NM. Airman getting stationed here. They will arrive mid-August.

I used Docusign. Encouraged them by phone & in the docusign email to carefully read all the documents.

There are spots for initials near key parts I want to emphasize/really want them to read.

When they arrive, we will do the move-in inspection / orientation together & at that time I will ask if they have any questions or mention anything I think needs to be emphasized. Really, I'll basically remind them of the 3 things we need - pay on time (no problem - signed up for clearnow), keep the place clean(emphasizing that means move-in ready - like it is now), and be a good neighbor(I'll give them info for the grass-cutting guy, in case they want to hire him - previous apartment dwellers).

I used to sit & go over it in person, highlighting important parts. That was OK, but eventually they would lose interest & get that glazed-over look in their eyes.

Read lease at signing? (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 8:10 AM

Here, leases and disclosures are required to be provided prior to taking $. Our lease and all "required by law" documents and disclosures are sent via email for proof they were provided. This is done prior to the showing. I bring the same papers with me to the showing in the event a lease can be signed at that time. Thanks to the excellent "new world" screening procedures learned here, only did 4 showings total to fill 2 units. I tell them to be prepared to sign a lease if they are interested due to the number of prospects on my list and growing.

Each page of the lease is signed, pages titled as required here NON STANDARD PROVISIONS. Last page concerning what can be deducted from the security deposit is initialed per item and page signed. I ask for questions per page and more specifically the last page.

I would say more time is spent with newbies just prior to move in than signing the lease, to familiarize newbies with the place, issues that could come up and how to handle them, communicate with us (already in lease, but emphasis again). I reemphasize areas of the lease of responsibility, such as, we don't deal with certain plumbing, like clogged toilets or drains as I provide products to use to avoid these issues.

Has been working well for us. Once in a blue moon we get someone who has been "spoiled" their whole, and does what they want no matter what you say or do. --75.11.xx.xx

Read lease at signing? (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 8:13 AM

*their whole life --75.11.xx.xx

Read lease at signing? (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 9:19 AM

I used to read it all with them. They'd smile, nod, sign it, then do exactly the opposite.

So I went to just going over the highlights. They'd smile, nod, sign it, then do exactly the opposite.

So, I started emailing it over to them early to read. I wouldn't see them, but my guess is they'd smile, nod, sign it, then do exactly the opposite.

So.... I asked myself: "What was the common problem here?" It hit me like a ton of bricks.


I can't make them care. A zebra cannot change his stripes. A leopard cannot change his spots. Lead the horse to water. Insert more cliche's.

Solution: Find good tenants.

Now I use PDFFiller and Buildium. The lease is emailed over to them to read and sign as soon as we approve their application and get the holding fee. I do not spend even 1 second of my time going over it unless they ask a specific question, in which case I refer them to the appropriate paragraph and will provide clarification.

Good tenants know the deal:

1) Pay the rent, in full, on time, all the time.

2) Don't damage the place.

3) Be a good neighbor.

4) Follow the law.

5) Report legit maintenance issues promptly.

6) Get land lord's permission in writing for any changes to the lease or the property.

Those 6 points are really all a good lease boils down to. They are also the only points a good tenant needs to have a successful tenancy.

If I have to explain these things to my tenant, the obvious issue was clear: I got the WRONG tenant. Good tenants won't need these basic duties explained, and bad tenants won't care.

Now I save myself time, hassle, damage, and frustrations. With a good screening process, I will find good tenants who won't need mommy to read their lease to them. They will read it themselves and abide by it because it is in their nature to fulfill their obligations.


Read lease at signing? (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 10:27 AM

Sid, I agree with you to a point but I also have found that there are some interesting belief's floating around in the tenant world. For example, there are a fair number of tenants who don't understand that they can't paint. Does that make them a bad tenant? I don't think so, simply a matter of understanding the rules. I also think there are things that apartment dwellers don't realize when they move out into a SFH's (IE: mow the strip of grass behind the back fence as part of the keep the yard mowed requirement). Again, doesn't make them a bad tenant, just experiencing a new world and need a jumpstart.

In my day job years ago I was exposed to some interesting info in this area. Researchers have developed a model to explain the differences in how people learn. It's called the VARK model. There are 4 styles of learning: Reading/writing, Auditory, Visual, and Kinestetic(experiencing). Each person favors one over the other but only like 12% of people favor reading/writing which was the lowest as their primary learning style. The highest is Kinestetic followed by Visual. So, if one of the goals is to train tenants then perhaps we are missing out on how we accomplish that.

Read lease at signing? (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 10:38 AM

MikeA, see point #6 above.

My lease is obviously longer than 6 bullet point sentences, and it does clearly state that any changes to the property must be approved in writing.

The only time I've had tenants paint was back when I used to explain to them they couldn't paint. They did anyway. Ever since I stopped explaining it, I haven't had a single person do it.

I'm going to go with the results that work. --184.4.xx.xx

Read lease at signing? (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 10:56 AM

6x6 , You asked if anyone had ever been asked a question about the lease that you didnít know how to answer. I come across that all the time. If itís something that you donít want to answer right on the spot the easiest thing to do is tell them youíll check with the board of directors and get back to them within a day or two. Sometimes people want to know if they can do a certain thing in the house like install shelving or have an outlet added outsideÖI had one lady that one of the water softener installed.

I always go into everything telling them Iím the property manager, which is true. That way if they ask an unusual request or question I can just tell them I have to check with our management team.

Read lease at signing? (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 12:29 PM

Ed[ca], in calif you also have bed bug disclosures, one for the rent control ordinance, and some others. your local apartment owners association will have a compliant lease that treats these. any realtor can get you an exemplar of the CAR lease that is a good starting document. i'd bet a dollar that our fearless leader, Mr. Landlord has a good one. the rat's in sacramento keep adding burdens to our job --75.80.xx.xx

Read lease at signing? (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 1:04 PM

I am an adult and if anyone ever thought they were going to read a legal contract out loud to me like I was a child, I would walkaway.

Also, who truly thinks a tenant is going to sit there and pay attention and ABSORB the boring words someone is reading to them rather than thinking about the boxes they need to move, unpack, run to the store for paper towels, where should the couch and tv go, etc.

Read lease at signing? (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 3:16 PM

There are two identical copies at lease signing: one for my files, one for theirs.

We breeze through the main points behind each idea, and they initial each page to show their agreement with everything on that page. They sign both their copy and my copy.

I take my copy home and put it in the file. I've only had to trot out my copies perhaps twice in over ten years--- but their initials are right there next to anything I ever need to prove up in court.

Read lease at signing? (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 7:10 PM

Thank you Hoosier

Read lease at signing? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jul 26, 2022 10:44 PM

Not doing an orientation is taking pot luck - you get whatever bad habits the previous LLs have let them get by with.

If I want it done or if I want the judge to grant me $, it MUST be spelled out in the lease.

Everything NOT in the lease is subject to interpretation.

Paper is cheap and can save you in court.

My lease is 31 pages long because it includes EVERYTHING and every problem I've had over our 45 years of LLing - animal policies, bedbugs, mold, keep your grill 15 feet from the house when in use, no parking on the grass inlcuding trucks during the move in process - ruts are $50 fine, no smoking policy includes vaping, electronic cigarettes, marijuana, move out procedures, condition inspection, a full page 2 columns single spaced of Standard Cleaning and Repair Costs, $65 per hour for repairs, $10 Service Fee for each Non-Autodraft transaction, insect/vermin control is part of every day housekeeping by the res, home is bug and mold free at move in...

(If it's important, put it in writing. I have watch addendums thrown out in court.)

EVERY proper job does an orientation and basic training. Why not a LL giving them control over my $100,000 investment?


When I started Lou Brown's "Lease Signing Ceremony" approach my res problems dropped to almost zero! People started doing good res things! like not parking on the grass, taking out their trash, not calling me for a clogged toilet! Key clauses are in bold and many require an initial. Every page gets initialed by all adults.

I have the inspection filled out BEFORE they arrive. We do NOT walk thru because they start to nitpick and drag out the appointment. I do remind them the lease says they have 7 days to report anything we might have missed.

I used to meet at the house but had some people who could not stand very long so I started bringing a card table and chairs. That was cumbersome and looked amateurish.

I found it best to meet at MacDonalds. I could bribe the kids with some fries and send them to the playground or buy the adults a cup of coffee and look like a great guy.

I hired a person to sign the leases and she was too shy to do "Public speaking" so I made my Talking Lease. 23 minute audio to walk them thru the lease. Again, this solved a million problems!

With the pandemic we had to adapt. I went to DocuSign. We send the lease and a link to the recording on YouTube. I tell them to use 2 devices - one for the lease and one for the recording. WIth a few who were tech challenged I talked them thru the lease over the phone.

I call them after they sign and hit a few highlights to reinforce the training.

They deliver the monies to our Walk In Deposit Only Account #1111 at any Home Federal Bank branch. Write their name on the receipt and text us a photo to prove they paid.

If folks are concerned about being scammed I tell them to call the bank before putting in any money and ask if this is a legit account.

For out of towners we do a credit card with Square.

Once paid and signed we change the door lockbox to a special code with their new keys, and take 100+ move in photos dated that day.

This has been working well and people seem to appreciate the "online renting" approach. We still have to talk wit them by phone to nail down which house, timing, adding amenities like washer/dryer $, shed $, etc, and talking about PayDayPlan before sending the DocuSign. Many comment on how quick and easy it was.

Works for me! Rented 3 last week from my desk.


Read lease at signing? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jul 27, 2022 3:15 PM

This is a side note RELATED to the orientation/reading of the lease...with the goal of bringing in a new res smoothly and making them happy and cooperative.

We do a 200 point inspection BEFORE putting the home on the market. EVERYTHING works, NOTHING broken or chipped, no torn screens, yard mowed, bushes trimmed, up to date or Stainless Steel appliances - NOTHING for them to complain about.

No need for explanations or promises.


Read lease at signing? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Jul 28, 2022 8:50 AM

I do try to add a twist of comedy into my lease discussion. For example when covering the lead disclosure form, I ask them for example would it make a difference if there is lead paint on the walls or not if they will be eating my buildings walls?

I later explain how as a 16 year old teenager, I would syphon regular (as opposed to unleaded gas) to make sure I had gas for the car shortly after getting my license. I then ask the follow up question, do you suppose the unleaded gas was really any better than the leaded gas to have in my mouth?

I let them know that you could probably find studies that say drinking gas stipulates hair growth. They typically bust out loud laughing and stare at my bald head.

As long as bring them back to say eating ANY paint isn't good and eating leaded paint is real bad. Your 37 years old, please don't eat any paint

Read lease at signing? (by Lumberman1987 [PA]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 10:04 PM

We also provide the lease 1-2 days in advance and ask them to come with questions. And yes, we read every line and they initial all the key smoking, responsible for lawn care, etc. We also highlight what is considered breaking the lease and therefore an evict able action, including late payment. We also document move in pics. And when they pay their monthly rent at our business office, we ask (and document) if there are any issues in the apartment.

Read lease at signing? (by David [MI]) Posted on: Aug 8, 2022 10:27 PM

I email the lead a couple days prior so they can read it, it lets them ask questions in advance and speed up the signing process.

As for clogged toilets, I managed tenant years without a single tenant contacting me about a toilet. Until this summer, when the same tenant 1) dropped a scissor down toilet while flushing and 2) clogged toilet again and didn't know how to properly use a plunger. She has otherwise been great tenant so I cut her some slack . But I find generally toilets to not be a frequent problem that if it does happen, I shouldn't make them responsible to the point they have their uncle over messing around.

Read lease at signing? (by Honey [LA]) Posted on: Aug 9, 2022 4:35 PM

How does this sound? Make out my Lease or Lease Renewal, original in BLUE ink and copy it. Present both to prospect or renewing tenant. Let them choose one copy to read while I wait for questions and then we both sign/ initial one copy at a time, handing it back and forth until both copies are completed and I get the original and tenant gets copy. Then they leave the money and take the keys!

Read lease at signing? (by April [KS]) Posted on: Aug 9, 2022 10:07 PM

100% agree that it's all in the screening. Bad tenants seem to only care about themselves. So I screen carefully for residents who are respectful. Respectful people usually have great credit and positive references.

I tell residents 3 guiding principles to a happy residency:

1. respect the rules

2. respect the property and your neighbors

3. respect management

Our 11 page lease is common sense and common courtesy. Our 8 page handbook is designed to save residents money, time and make their home more enjoyable. I provide lots of helpful information - most of which is provided through automated emails the week before they move in. They get lots of touch-points from me virtually.

By placing respectful residents I'm able to do "Contact-Free Move Ins." I have zero contact with them on move in day. I create the lease packet 1 week prior to the move in date and upload the packet to their Resident Center in Buildium and they're invited to review the lease packet online. We use keyless entries that require a code. Residents only get their code when they log in and review their lease packet. I've never had a resident ask me how to get inside their unit on their move in day. Everyone logged into their Resident Center and reviewed their docs to get their keyless code. The keyless code is not programmed until the rent and deposit are paid online prior to the move in day. No rent - no code.

I used to meet residents for move ins. I got tired of waiting for the tenant to show up on moving day, hearing stories about how their relatives were late, or the u-haul gave them the wrong truck, or cleaning took longer than they thought. Waste of my time and started our relationship off on a sour note. They felt bad. I felt disrespected. By going contact-free they get to show up at any time they want on their move in day, use their keyless code for access then complete the paper copies of the lease packet already inside the unit. Page 1 of the lease packet is a welcome letter with the 5 move in steps:

Step 1. Pay your rent and deposit the day before

Step 2. Confirm your utilities are setup the day before

Step 3. Sign your lease

Step 4. Complete the Move In Inspection

Step 5. Text me for my virtual signature on the lease which makes the lease legal and gives you permission to move in.

Letting them move in when they're ready takes a lot of stress off folks during a really stressful time. Residents appreciate that more than you can imagine.

The Move In Inspection form has 2 columns. One for damages and one for level of clean 1 to 5. I let them write anything and everything they want on the move in checklist. When I review the inspection form, if something on the Inspection doesn't make sense, they have to provide a photo of the issue. Amazing how many folks suddenly say, "oh, it was really nothing" when asked for a photo. Then I amend the Inspection and upload a copy to their Resident center. If anything in the unit is not a level 5 clean, they are to let me know and it will be made a 5 for them.

A couple days after they move in I stop by to meet them, give a little tour of unique features, answer questions, emphasize certain rules like quiet hours and trash guidelines, and pick up the lease packet. By then the residents are a lot less stressed, have had a chance to get familiar with the unit and they have more bandwidth to think about other things - like meeting their landlord. Much better first impressions on both sides.

I've saved 100's of hours by going "contact-free" and I haven't had any more issues than normal. 99% of the residents don't need to be reminded about the rules. Coomon sense. Common courtesy. Issues pop up usually when a tenant moves to the disrespectful side - and sadly that happens - but that's a totally different issue not related to a contact-free move in process.

I'm not reading a lease or completing someone's move in checklist. That's the resident's responsibility. Screen. Screen. Screen. Then enjoy more of your precious time.

Read lease at signing? (by Fred [VA]) Posted on: Aug 10, 2022 10:54 PM

Our lease is 14 pages with a handbook addendum of 51 pages long because it includes rules and fees on EVERYTHING and every problem I've had over years.

Not about to read it to a tenant.

Read lease at signing? (by Cynthia Ferry [TN]) Posted on: Aug 13, 2022 6:26 PM

We have a long lease and for that reason I do go over every single clause in our lease prior to allowing the perspective tenants to sign the lease. A clause that I feel is important or required by any level of government, we have them initial. Before signing we also collect any monies due, first months rent and security deposit. If they have a pet the Pet Security Deposit. Once the monies are collected and the lease signed we do a full and complete inspection of the property, inside and out. We tell them to allow 2 hours for the whole process. They do the inspection of each area and I log it on the Move-In Inspection Walk-Through document. Photos are also taken to back up the written inspection. Tenants are given a copy of the written inspection and the photos, which are burned to a disc for them to have to look back on when it comes time for them to move out. As we come up on government required issues that need to be addressed in our lease, we also give them copies of the rule from the governments website and we give them information packets for things like how to keep mold from forming, that is the tenants responsibility. In the 10 years we have been landlords we have had very few problem tenants. By the time they get through our screening process they know we will be holding them up to the lease. It's all worth it to us.

Subject: RE: Read lease at signing?
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