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Do I need a lawyer for writing a lease?

Miami, FL |

Hey, I want to rent out my basement for some extra money. I’m in the process of writing a lease, should I contact a lawyer for this? Does it have to be written in “legalese” or can it be in plain writing?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. First of all, you need to make sure you're complying with all local zoning laws. Some jurisdictions require rental licenses; other zoning ordinances prohibit renting in certain properties.

    Secondly, while a lease doesn't have to be written in "legalese" there are provisions in leases which you may not be aware that you want to include. To protect yourself, and to save yourself aggravation later on down the road if things go awry with a potential tenant, you really ought to spend a few extra dollars having an attorney draft your lease.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.


  2. You should hire an attorney to draft a lease agreement for you. The ones you find online or in stores usually don't have the strongest language with the right kind of clauses to protect the landlord. The language can be very plain and still have the effect needed.

    I recommend joining a local landlord organization and buying a recently-published book on florida landlords (published within the last two years). Good luck!


  3. I agree with the other attorneys and would say that although there is no legal requirement that an attorney write a lease for you, the practical answer is YES!!!!!

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

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