Lease Signing Process for Landlords & Tenants
Lease Signing Process for Landlords & Tenants
A rental lease agreement is an important document that includes all the necessary information and legal elements required to protect landlords and tenants. But before signing a lease agreement, it’s important to be informed on the lease signing process, such as who signs first and what to consider before signing.
Keep reading to learn more about the lease signing process and tools that can help you streamline the process.
What Factors Should Be Considered Before Signing a Lease?
Before signing a lease agreement, it’s advised to review the following parts of a lease to ensure you’re aligned with the stated information.
- Lease agreement type: Check that the lease agreement states the right type of term duration you agreed on. If both the landlord and tenant agreed on a 12 month lease, then the lease agreement should explicitly state this lease term. As a reminder, landlords can offer four types of lease agreements — a month-to-month lease, short-term lease, 12-month lease, or rent-to-own lease.
- The stated rent price: Avoid signing for a lease agreement that states the incorrect rent price. If the rent price doesn’t match what’s been communicated, then the landlord will need to adjust the lease.
- The landlord’s rules: Review the rules and conditions the landlord will enforce during the lease term. Tenants may also want to review local landlord-tenant laws to ensure the agreement does not violate their renters’ rights.
- If the information matches what’s been communicated: Landlords should include rent concessions they’re offering, amenities available to tenants, fees tenants are responsible for paying and when they’re due, and any other information shared with the tenant.
If the lease agreement does not match the information discussed during the application process, tenants are advised to let the landlord know before signing. This is especially important because lease agreements cannot be changed once everyone in the agreement has signed.
The Lease Signing Process Explained
Once a tenant’s application has been approved, the next step is signing the lease to finalize the agreement. Landlords can schedule an in-person meeting to collect signatures or explore electronic lease signing to expedite the process.
Here are the basic steps in the lease signing process that landlords and tenants can follow.
1. Landlord Sends Lease to Tenant to Review and Sign
Landlords can digitally sign Avail lease agreements or their own ready-to-sign document for free. Before collecting the tenant’s signature, landlords will need to invite them to create an account with Avail. They will be emailed with instructions on how to review and sign the lease. They can use this time to raise any concerns they have when reviewing the lease agreement.
If the tenant discovers an error in the lease agreement, landlords can easily edit Avail leases to resend. However, if the document was uploaded to Avail, you may need to upload the revised document to sign online.
2. Tenant Provides First Signature
It’s best practice to have the tenant sign the lease agreement first for a few reasons. If you provide a lease with your signature and the tenant does not sign the document right away, then it makes it harder to move on to another tenant. If the new tenant you chose signs the lease, as well as the original tenant you wanted to lease to, you can end up with two valid leases, which will require legal assistance to navigate.
For that reason, landlords typically require tenants and co-signers or lease guarantors (when applicable) to sign the lease first. This also allows you to review the lease to see if any portions have been changed without your knowledge or cancel the lease if you no longer want to rent to the tenant.
3. Landlord Provides Final Signature
Once you’ve collected signatures from tenants, landlords can provide theirs to make the agreement legally binding. It’s important to review the lease agreement before signing to ensure all the information is correct and complies with local ordinances.
The final lease agreement will automatically populate to both parties’ dashboards to reference throughout the lease term.
Lease agreements cannot be changed once both parties have signed.
Is a Lease Valid If Not Signed by All Tenants?
In most states, all parties included in the lease agreement need to sign for a lease to be valid. However, each state varies on rules and regulations regarding online signatures on lease agreements, so refer to local landlord-tenant laws to check.
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