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Why lease agreements should be in writing

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2021 | Landlord/Tenant Matters

Finding a safe and secure place to live can take time and effort. When a Detroit resident settles on a rental property for themselves and their family, they may want to take every possible step to ensure that their rights and interested are protected regarding their relationship with their landlord. Executing a written lease agreement is a good step in this direction.

Some agreements must be in writing, but even those that may be verbal can be made stronger through writing. Readers who are negotiating lease agreements and want to ensure they are properly drafted before signing can take their concerns and questions to their trusted real estate lawyers.

Which agreements must be in writing?

Under Michigan law, any lease agreement more than one year in length must be in writing. If it is not, it will violate the state’s statute of frauds. Lease agreements that do not pass the one-year threshold do not necessarily have to be written down.

Why a written lease agreement is a good idea

One reason that lease agreements are stronger when they are written is that writing takes out misinterpretation and different memories of an oral lease’s terms. If a lease is written down, there is always a document to refer to when questions about terms and remedies arise. However, an unclear written agreement can still be problematic.

The best written lease agreements are clear and specific to the matter under contract. They identify critical terms, such as lease duration, rent costs, the scope of the rented real estate, and payment timing terms. They identify the parties who have agreed to contract and the remedies that each will have if the other breaches.

A real estate attorney can advise their client on the potential problems in a proposed lease agreement. From there, an individual can make an informed decision about how best to engage under those terms.