Residential Lease Agreement Cost

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What does a residential lease agreement cost? Landlords who own and rent residential properties like houses or apartments often ask this question. So let’s explore this question and review some general information about residential lease agreements and how they work.

How Much Does a Residential Lease Agreement Cost?

A residential lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord who owns a residential property and a tenant who rents the property.

Unlike a commercial lease used to rent a property for business purposes, a residential lease is most commonly used for living spaces. Residential leases often cover rentals like:

  • Houses
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Single room within a house

A residential lease agreement is an important document for both the landlord and the tenant because it defines the rights and responsibilities of each party and protects them from liabilities.

A well-drafted lease agreement will help facilitate a successful relationship between the landlord and the tenant and avoid disputes or misunderstandings.

The landlord typically drafts lease agreements, and many landlords choose to hire an attorney to complete this task. Real estate lawyers will know what provisions should be included in the residential lease. In addition, they will ensure that the contract follows all state and local laws regarding residential lease agreements.

Based on ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data, the average cost of a project involving a residential lease agreement is $431.43.

What’s Included in a Residential Lease Agreement?

Residential lease agreements are often negotiated so that both the landlord’s and the tenant’s interests and needs are met. As a result, these contracts are highly customizable. They will vary based on property type and the parties executing the agreement.

At a minimum, residential lease agreements should always include the following basic provisions:

  • Party Information. The names and addresses of the landlord and the tenant and anyone who plans on living at the residence with the tenant.
  • Property description. The property description includes the property address, square footage, amenities, and features. Many residential leases will also include information about parking.
  • Rental price. The tenant must pay the landlord the monthly rate for the use of the property. The rental price is calculated by the property's square footage, geographic location, and available amenities.
  • Lease duration. Residential lease agreements must specify the lease length and whether there is an option to renew when the time expires. Residential leases are typical one-year leases but can also be six-month, seasonal, or month-to-month.
  • Deposits. Most landlords require tenants to sign a security deposit agreement. A security deposit can be returned at the end of the lease if no money is owed. Some landlords require the first and last month’s rent before a tenant can move in. All terms surrounding deposits should be included in the lease.
  • Utilities. Utilities often include electric, water, gas, cable, and internet. The lease agreement should clearly state who is responsible for paying these fees. Some landlords charge a higher base rate monthly rent and include utilities. In contrast, others expect the tenant to pay the bills independently.
  • Pet policy. Whether or not pets are allowed at the rental and, if so, how many and what kinds of breeds.
  • Guest policy. Many residential lease agreements will include a guest policy to ensure people aren’t living at the rental, which isn’t on the lease agreement. It is common for residential leases to allow the tenant to have guests stay over up to 7 or 14 days.

Additional terms and conditions can be added to any residential lease. An attorney with experience drafting leases will know what terms and conditions should be added for a particular rental property.

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Examples of Residential Lease Agreement Projects

Residential Lease Agreement Drafting Services

It is recommended that a landlord hires a real estate lawyer to draft their residential lease agreement. Hiring a lawyer to draft the agreement is the only way to avoid mistakes or missing clauses that could open a landlord to legal and financial liability.

An attorney with experience drafting residential lease agreements will know which clauses must be included to protect the landlord’s property and avoid disputes.

When drafting a lease agreement, a lawyer will consult with the landlord to learn about the property and what conditions the landlord wants to include in the lease. Then, the lawyer will draft a lease that the landlord can use with their tenant.

Residential Lease Agreement Review Services

When a tenant signs a residential lease agreement, they are bound to the terms of the contract. Therefore, they could face large financial penalties for breaking a lease without good cause. For this reason, a tenant may want to hire their attorney to review the lease agreement before they agree to sign.

A tenant’s lawyer will review the lease in the tenant’s best interests. The lawyer can negotiate on the tenant’s behalf to ensure that all terms and conditions are fair and legal.

Residential Lease Agreement Drafting Cost

Residential lease agreement drafting costs can vary based on the length, complexity, and how many custom terms need to be included in the agreement.

ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows that the average residential lease agreement drafting costs are $431.43 across all states.

Residential Lease Agreement Review Cost

When tenants hire an attorney to review a residential lease agreement, they will be responsible for their legal fees. In addition, the lawyer will charge for their time reviewing the contract, suggesting edits, negotiating, and meetings.

ContractsCounsel’s marketplace data shows that the average residential lease agreement review costs are $431.43 across all states and industries.

How Do Lawyers Charge for Residential Lease Agreements?

Hourly Rates for Residential Lease Agreements

Real estate lawyers often charge their clients an hourly rate for legal services. Under an hourly rate fee structure, the lawyer will provide a client with their hourly rate and then bill the client for the number of hours spent working on their project.

The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows that the average hourly rate for a real estate lawyer ranges from $150 - $300 per hour.

Flat Fee Rates for Residential Lease Agreements

A flat fee rate fee is a more straightforward way to bill clients. It is becoming more popular when a lawyer is hired for a single task like drafting a residential lease agreement. When using a flat rate fee, the lawyer quotes one price for all legal services associated with the case or project.

Clients should be sure they understand what services are included in the flat rate fee. Additional legal expenses may be incurred if the residential lease agreement requires revisions or negotiations.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows that the average flat fee rate for a residential lease agreement is $431.43.

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