Washington Lease Agreement

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Washington Lease Agreement

Introduction to the Washington Lease Agreement

Washington Lease Agreement is governed by State Landlord and Tenant Laws and Washington Laws and Legal Information. For a specified monthly payment, the listed property is leased from tenant to landlord. It should be in a written format.

Under the lease agreement, no ownership right is provided. Only the right to use the property is provided. The property under the lease agreement is owned and managed by the lessor. The lease agreement may confer some special rights on lessee like subletting, modification, etc. In order to enjoy these rights, a specified sum called rent is paid.

Parties Involved in Washington Lease Agreement

Under the Lease Agreement, the following parties are involved:

Landlord:

Under the lease agreement, the landlord is the person who owns the property. He/ She is the owner of the property. Landlord allows the tenant to use the property after charging a specified rent.

Tenant:

Under the lease agreement, a Tenant is a person who pays the rent and uses the property. The right to use the property is given under the lease agreement.

Purpose of the Washington Lease Agreement

The Lease Agreement is prepared with the following purpose in mind:

  1. A well written Lease Agreement clearly lays down the rights and responsibility of both landlords and tenants.
  2. After the Lease Agreement is negotiated and signed between the parties, it becomes binding on both of them. Both the parties are bound by the Agreement.
  3. Lease Agreement also benefits those who are not able to incur such huge capital expenditure. It helps them to enjoy the property by paying comparatively less amount.

Contents of the Washington Lease Agreement

A well drafted Lease Agreement should include the following things:

  1. Parties Name: The Lease Agreement should contain the proper name and address of the parties to the agreement.
  2. Date of Commencement of Lease: The Lease Agreement should also provide for a date when the lease period will commence.
  3. Date of Termination of Lease: The Lease Agreement also needs to specify the date of Termination of Lease. It should also disclose the grounds for pre-termination of the lease as well.
  4. Payment of Rent: The Rent to be paid or the mode of payment of rent, time of payment of rent, etc. should be clearly stated.
  5. Security Deposits: The Lease Agreement should also provide for taking a security deposit for a particular period of time.
  6. Rights and Duties of Tenants: It should also provide the rights and duties of the Tenant. It includes a clause like the use of premises, assignment of premises, sub-letting, alteration, modification, improvement, non-delivery of possession, hazardous material, maintenance, etc.
  7. Rights of Landlord: It includes the right of the landlord to receive rent and in case of default the rights available like entering premises, pre-mature termination of the lease.
  8. Surrender of Premises: The Lease Agreement should also provide for the mode in which the premise is to be surrendered after Expiry or Termination of Lease.
  9. Indemnification and Warranty: The Lease Agreement should clearly lay down the indemnification and warranty given to the landlord or tenant.
  10. Dispute Resolution: The mode of dispute resolution, venue, time, etc. of dispute resolution should also be stated in the Lease Agreement to avoid future conflict.

How to Draft the Washington Lease Agreement

Following points needs to be considered while drafting a Washington Lease Agreement:

  1. Due Diligence: The tenant, should find out who is the actual owner of the property before entering into the Lease Agreement.
  2. Washington Required Disclosure Law requires landlord in Washington to disclose all the specific information to the tenant. Such information includes details of any agent of the owner or anything with regards to leased out property.
  3. Washington Security Deposit Limits and Deadline provides for the restrictions on security deposits. It provides that within 14 days of the tenant moving into a leased out property, the security deposit needs to be returned. However, there is no limit on the amount to be taken as a security deposit.
  4. Upto $5,000 tenants can sue the landlord in small claim court and demand return of their deposits. It is provided in Filing a Security Deposit Lawsuit in Washington Small Claim Court and Washington Landlords Guide to Security Deposit Disputes in Small Court.
  5. Washington Termination for Non-Payment of Rents and Other Rent Rules provides that within 30 days of default, the landlord needs to give notice, and within 3 days of receipt of notice tenant needs to comply.
  6. Washington Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent or “Repair and Deduct” provides that the tenant can withhold the payment of rent to the landlord if the landlord does not fulfill the duty with respect to repairs to be done by the landlord.
  7. State Laws on Unconditional Quit Termination and State Laws on Termination for Violation of Lease regulate how the lease is to be terminated.

[Also Read: Agreement for Termination Of Lease]

Negotiating Strategies:

A Lease Agreement should be well negotiated by keeping the following strategy in mind:

  1. Rent: The Tenant, while entering into Lease Agreement, should compare the rent of the similar property. While comparing the market value, the tenant will get an idea about how much to negotiate.
  2. Landlord’s Rule: The extent of the right of the landlord should also be negotiated on leased out premise. There should be sufficient restriction on the right of the landlord to enter the leased premises or eviction without just reason.
  3. Just and Equitable: The terms of the agreement conferring various rights on parties should be negotiated in such a manner so as to appear just and equitable to both the parties without prejudicing the interest of any party.
  4. Non-Monetary Benefits: The Lease Agreement should also be negotiated in such a way as to confer non-monetary benefits on the tenant.
  5. Inclusive: The Lease Agreement should be made as inclusive as possible. It should try to address all possible issues in order to provide clarity.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Washington Lease Agreement:

Following are the advantages of entering into a Lease Agreement:

  1. Certainty: The Lease Agreement provides certainty of rights and duties to the tenant and landlord. It is generally for a fixed period of time; hence, it is certain.
  2. Clarity: The Lease Agreement also provides clarity on various issues that may arise in the exercise of rights conferred under the Lease Agreement.
  3. Low Capital Expenditure: The Lease Agreement facilitates the use of the property without incurring huge capital expenditure.
  4. Tax Benefits: The Lease Agreement also helps in securing Tax Benefits as no Capital Expenditure is made.
  5. Better Usage of Capital: The capital can be employed for other purposes when it is not incurred on acquiring the property.

Following are the Disadvantages of entering into a Lease Agreement:

  1. Binding: The Lease Agreement binds the tenant to the premise for a specified time, which may not be in the interest of the tenant.
  2. Expensive: The Lease Agreement turns out to be a very expensive affair for the parties entering into it.
  3. Limited Access: The rights available with respect to property are limited and not absolute.
  4. Maintenance of Assets: The Lease Agreement also provides that the lessee is obligated for maintenance of the asset and liable to pay huge damages in case of any loss or harm is done to the asset.

What Happens in Case of Violation

Following Remedies are available to Landlord in case of violation of Lease Agreement:

  1. Evict Pre-maturely: The Landlord has the right to evict the tenant pre-maturely in case any default or contravention of terms of Agreement is made by the parties.
  2. Suit for Rent: The Landlord can also bring legal action for default of rent payment.
  3. Damages: The Landlord can also claim damages for the loss or ham done to the leased property.
  4. Distant and Distress for Rent: This is Common Law Remedy which provides that the landlord has the right to enter the premises of the tenant and hold the property of tenant for the public good.
  5. Lien on Transfer of Property: The Landlord also gets the right of lien on the property of the tenant.
  6. Right to Recover Property by force: The landlord has the right to recover property by force in case of default is made in rent payment.
  7. Security Deposit: The Landlord can also retain security deposit when there is any harm done to lease out premise or default in payment of rent.

Following Rights are available to Tenant in case of violation of Lease Agreement:

  1. Damages: The Tenant can claim damages when the rights of the tenant are jeopardized by the landlord.
  2. Reformation: The Tenant can seek reformation of the Lease Agreement in case the loss is suffered by the tenant.
  3. Recession: The Tenant also has the right to seek recession of the Lease Agreement in case of breach of terms of the Lease Agreement.

The Lease Agreement provides for a certain right in favour of the tenant to use the property without any disturbance on the part of the landlord. The lease agreement also helps the tenant to get the benefit of property at less cost. It also benefits the landlord to utilize the property which was not employed for any purpose and get rent from such property.

Hence, the lease Agreement is beneficial for both Landlord and Tenant as it satisfies both of their interests.

Sample Washington Lease Agreement

A sample of the Washington Lease Agreement can be downloaded from below.

Download Washington Lease Agreement Template

Washington Lease Agreement

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