There are a variety of lease agreements permitted by law, the most common being residential and commercial. Across the country, the laws pertaining to lease agreements generally are uniform. Most of these laws lack requirements for witnesses, although they are permissible. However, as an added level of protection, many individuals and businesses prefer a witness to an agreement of lease. There are two routes to take in regard to witnessing a lease agreement.
Obtain a standard form lease agreement. In the alternative, draft a lease agreement.
Schedule a time when you and the other party to the lease agreement can come together to sign the document.
Select a location for the lease agreement signing where a notary public is available.
Sign the document in front of a notary public.
Have the notary public stamp (or seal) the lease agreement, adding her own signature to the document. The act of stamping (or sealing) by a notary public provides a legally, official witness to an agreement of lease. (Keep in mind that generally speaking, there is no requirement for a lease agreement to be notarized.)
Contact another individual or individuals with no interest in, or relationship to, the lease agreement to serve as a witness or witnesses. Using this type of witness is an alternative to having the lease agreement notarized.
Insert a signature line for a witness to the lease agreement (or lines if there are multiple witnesses).
- Having witnesses to a lease agreement is a double-edged sword. You need to keep in mind that if there is a dispute regarding the circumstances in which a lease is signed, a witness you select may end up supporting a version of facts that are not consistent with your own position.
- Consider having an attorney draft a lease agreement. Rather than taking your chances with the legality of a form lease agreement, you enjoy greater peace of mind by retaining a lawyer to prepare a lease agreement. Local and state bar associations maintain directories of attorneys in different areas of practice, including real estate, and landlord and tenant law. Contact information for these organizations is available from the American Bar Association.
- "Leases & Rental Agreements;" Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner & Janet Portman; 2009
- "Landlord and Tenant Law in a Nutshell;" David S. Hill; 2004
- "The Landlord's Book of Forms and Agreements;" Cliff Roberson; 2005
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