Common Questions About Lease Signatures

Common Landlord Questions About Lease Signatures

What If I Already Sent a Signed Lease to My Tenants? 

Chances are your tenants will sign the lease and everything will be okay. But if you sent a signed lease and your tenants stop replying or never send the lease back, then you should immediately notify tenants in writing that you are withdrawing your offer to rent to them. You should send it via email and overnight mail to their current address.

Then, you can move on to renting to other tenants. And in the future, you’ll know to have tenants sign first.

Do All Tenants Need to Sign a Rental Lease?

All tenants above the age of 18 need to sign the lease. Every tenant who signs is legally responsible for terms and rules on the lease, including the full rent amount. If you’re renting to a couple, make sure both partners sign.

Do Minors Have to Sign a Rental Lease?

If you’re renting to a family, then children (under 18 years of age) do not need to sign the lease.

If you’re renting to a minor, then you’ll want to check your state laws. Most states require that a co-signer (typically a parent or guardian) also needs to sign the lease. Be aware that some states do not allow a minor to be held legally responsible for the terms of a rental lease, unless they are legally emancipated (meaning they’ve been granted independent status by the courts).

Do Co-signers Need to Sign the Lease? 

Yes, co-signers need to sign the lease. A co-signer is another person on the lease who is financially responsible for the full rent amount. Landlords usually have co-signers sign if they’re renting to students or minors. It’s a way to add security if you’re worried whether a tenant can afford rent each month. Once a co-signer has signed the lease, then he or she is also legally responsible for the full rent amount.

When Does a Rental Lease Become Legally Binding? 

The lease becomes legally binding when all parties have signed: the landlord and all tenants living in the unit who are 18 and older.

If you’re worried about situations where a lease needs to end early, learn about breaking a lease and grounds for eviction.

When Should I Send a Lease to My Tenants to Sign? 

Assuming you’ve selected the right tenants, the next step is preparing your lease to be signed. Your lease should be sent to tenants when you complete the following steps:

  • Research your state landlord-tenant laws
  • Customize your rental rules
  • Add important clauses, disclosures, and addendums
  • Thoroughly review your lease
  • Get ready for next steps

Typically, leases are signed 30 days before the new tenants move in.

What If My Tenant Signs the Lease And Then Requests a Change to the Lease? 

If a tenant signs the lease and then a change is made, then he or she will need to sign again. Any change to the lease alters the agreement and therefore the tenant will need to sign to agree to the new version of the document.

What If My Tenant Signs a Lease And Then Later Adds a New Roommate? 

If a new tenant is added to the lease, then all parties will need to sign the lease again. The new roommate’s name needs to be added to the lease and then all parties should sign again. This ensures that the document is accurate and all tenants are responsible for the terms on the lease.