May 12, 2012 9:41 AM   Subscribe

My new landlord wants me to give him a lease for us to sign. Is there a good resource for printable lease agreements?

My new landlord says he doesn't normally do leases; he's willing to sign a lease if I provide it. I'm OK with this, but I don't really know what I'm doing. Is there a good resource for lease agreements? I've found places like this and although they do provide leases that look official, I have no way of verifying their reputability.

If I were competent to evaluate the goodness of the lease I'd just write it up myself. I'm not, but I don't think I need to hire a lawyer for this. I've signed leases without getting a lawyer involved before.

There's probably a good trustworthy site for these kinds of documents out there, right? There has to be some middle ground between "hire a lawyer" and "law-f0rms-4-u-dot-biz," does there not? I also wouldn't be opposed to paying a few dollars if I was sure the lease was good.

I'm in North Carolina, if that helps any.
posted by k8lin to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can't vouch for them, but this seems to be the type of service that legalzoom provides.
posted by tommccabe at 9:47 AM on May 12, 2012

Best answer: Nolo is pretty good for this kind of thing.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:49 AM on May 12, 2012

Oops, more specifically here.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Contact your local public library. Lots of them subscribe to databases of printable legal forms.
posted by jabes at 9:58 AM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Check out the rules/laws on month-to-month rentals in your jurisdiction... you may find you prefer to not have a lease...

Also, take care to remove any provisions from any leases you get/download that limit your rights etc.... most leases are heavily in favor of the landlord, and there's no reason for you to make yours that way.

If there's something you think you want to include, but aren't sure if it's worthwhile.. it probably is.

You are in an enviable position. Don't screw it up :)
posted by teatime at 9:59 AM on May 12, 2012

Best answer: It looks like your close to Chapel Hill? The Chapel Hill Public Library subscribes to a database called Legal Information Reference Center which "contains hundreds of full-text publications and thousands of legal forms. The full-text legal reference books are provided through Nolo, the nation's oldest and most-respected provider of legal information for consumers and small businesses."
posted by jabes at 10:08 AM on May 12, 2012

Best answer: They even have blank leases at office supply stores.
posted by brownrd at 11:56 AM on May 12, 2012

Do you have a copy of a lease you have used in the past? Why not model off that and strike all the provisions that seem particularly landlord-friendly?
posted by J. Wilson at 12:03 PM on May 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, y'all! My public library database subscription is great; I had thought of the library, but had only looked at their book catalog, not at their e-resources. :|

I got my hands on a nice, seven-page lease that is clear and to the point from Nolo.

My other option, by the way, was an office supply store - they sell the same lease as I have through the database for about 12 dollars, in case anyone is interested in the future and doesn't have access to an online database.
posted by k8lin at 1:04 PM on May 12, 2012

Your "new landlord says he doesn't normally do leases?"
posted by midatlanticwanderer at 2:52 PM on May 12, 2012

Response by poster: Yes - he owns several properties and doesn't usually sign a lease with tenants. He's not opposed to doing it, I think he's just a nice person who hasn't had any trouble with tenants in the past, so he doesn't think it's necessary.

I do think it's necessary, so I'm going to do a lease. I have no problem with this arrangement, especially since, as long as I provide a lease, he's happy to sign it.
posted by k8lin at 4:10 PM on May 12, 2012

Aha... sounds like you're making a wise choice, then.
posted by midatlanticwanderer at 6:42 PM on May 12, 2012

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