Who Signs the Lease Contract?

As our society becomes more educated, more diverse, and more informed, it is important to consider the legal ramifications when deciding on documentation included in  leases and more specifically, who signs the lease agreement.  This applies to residential contracts for rent, commercial contracts/lease agreements, mobile home parks, mini storage, storage, mixed use and light industrial contracts.  Whereas I am not a lawyer and would always recommend that you consult your legal representative, I do have some thoughts about what needs to be in place when a lease is signed.

If you are the owner of the property, then you sign as the owner.  The contract is always considered to be between the lessor, who agrees to receive payment for use of property owned by him/her, and the lessee, who agrees to make the payment in return for use of the property. So what happens if you are the property manager or agent in representation of the owner?  Legally, you have to have several types of documents executed to be able to sign “in place” of the owner whom you represent.  First of all, make sure that the document states that you are the agent or manager acting on behalf of your client, the owner.

Furthermore, you have no legal right to sign a contract on behalf of an owner unless you have a signed and notarized power of attorney from the owner.  In lieu of a power of attorney, if you have an employment contract which clearly states that you are authorized to sign on behalf of that owner or you have an agreement that clearly identifies you as the agreed upon representative of that owner you are in a better position.  Most property management companies have contracts which are prepared by a licensed real estate lawyer to address this problem specifically.  If you are an employee of a property management company and not a signer on that contract, be sure that one of the other types of agreements is in place or send the lease to the broker or the owner to sign. Remember that laws change from state to state so your best course of action is to consult with a knowledgeable real estate attorney.

“So why this is so important”? you ask.   In the case where you need to evict a tenant, your property manager’s standing could be affected.  In this instance, if the court questions your ability to stand in for the owner, you will need to be able to show a clearly written document that gives you the “standing” in court to represent the owner.  Please also know that in some states, even if you do have an agreement in place giving you the right to sign on behalf of the owner, you must also be a licensed real estate broker to sign.

Here are some suggestions about how the lease should look if you are managing for an owner:

Company Name

By:____________________________

Agent Name, as Property Manager of behalf of Owner Name as client

Or

Executed on May 31, 2013 By Company Name: Manager Name, Property Manager, on behalf of  Mr. Owner/landlord

Many times an owner will live in a different state than his investment property is situated.  It brings up the issue of portability of the documentation necessary for execution of a lease expeditiously.  At Smart Property Systems our leases are encoded with esign so that when a lease is ready for signing it can be emailed to the lessee and the lessor for signing.  It only takes minutes to complete this task and the lease is then returned into the system signed sealed and delivered. It is a good solution to this problem of who signs the lease.

Remember that the lease agreement is always between the owner of the property and the lessee.  Any signature from a property manager must be notated as such and all laws of that state must be complied with or the lease could be ruled invalid.  If the tenant turns out to be a problem tenant/resident, you could be in for big losses to your client, the owner*.

 

*Please see our articles about the importance of tenant screening in the blog archives.

How Important is your Time?

Let’s face it. Time really is money.  Most Property Owners and Managers and Association Managers could use more time in the day because there is just so much to do.  What if I told you that you can have that time you need to maximize your profits and minimize your efforts.  Would you believe me?  Well my bet is that you would not.  Every day I talk with Investors and Property Managers who all say how they can just not get everything done.  Either they need to work longer hours or hire more people.  Then I quietly show them a solution to this problem.  I take them through every step of that solution.  They are amazed and surprised.  I smile.  When we finish our meeting, they leave.  I follow up and they tell me that the system is wonderful but that they do not need it at this time.  I sigh.

The system I am talking about manages the property
1.allows you to see all rent rolls in one glance, to see who has paid and who has not
2. creates, manages, and auto stores the state compliant leases terms for each property
3. automates and performs the rent/dues/fees collection
4.performs the accounting automatically for those monies collected
5.sends notices automatically when scheduled and allows momentary creation of a notice for immediate email or postal mailing
6. has a message system which files and saves all written communication between the tenant and manager, vendors, owners, associates, and service
7. has a one entry data collection system, which means that the whole platform is populated from data entered one time
8. has built in state compliant auto-filled  leases with esign, which are automatically filed after esigning for ease of access by property in the forms
library
9. Forms library contains over 100 ready to use forms pertinent to the investment property management industry including all property types
10. has built in tenant screening which is filed automatically into that report system
11.has full accounting correct reports collated from data entered (like quick books) and available at the touch of the mouse
12.is a  cloud application software which can be used anywhere, anytime of the day or night, and comes with you on your notebook, tablet or laptop
13. Oh, and it also has beautifully designed web flyers which are stored for use when a lease is ending and there is a pending vacancy.  These web
flyers posted at no charge on Zillow, Hot Pads, Rentometer, Craigslist, Yahoo Rentals with Google map support and a monthly viewing audience
of close to 15 million potential renters. The pictures, videos and rich description of the property being offered for rent gives the prospective tenant
14.You can enter all data related to each of your investment properties, mortgage amounts, valuations, capital expense items and more.  All data is                  available including rent rolls if you ever decide to sell the property.including rent rolls if you ever decide to sell the property.

Imagine that all of this and more is available for all Investment Property Owners and Managers as well as Association Managers at a cost of .008%of the rent roll.  The platform is robust but easy to learn to use.  After initial data entry the only management tasks ongoing are to schedule maintenance, inspections and enter expense accounting data, and show vacancies.  This summer Subscribers can also take advantage of the one entry pay system which is being designed now.  Of course there is still the job of managing people, residents, their animals and Owners, planning community events and writing a newsletter etc.  But this system automates the entire rental process so that you now will have time to manage these people issues and still have time for lunch, exercise and a good laugh.

So where do you find this “future of property management” cloud application software sold as a subscription?  It is at https://smartpropertysystems.com.  We will demonstrate the system for you. You can join a group demonstration or have your own private showing.  You can also have a free trial for 2 weeks to test drive our services.  But what do I hear you saying?  Sounds good but I probably am too small to use something like that…..On the contrary.  This system was designed just for you, especially for you.  Come and see us.  Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain….better time management, more profitability, rents collected on time, automation of everything.  But the best thing of all is that we have the best, most readily available customer service of any property management software available and we love our subscribers and their tenants.  They  love us too. You can contact some of them and they will tell you how much they love this system.  We work as a team to maximize their profit, experience and business.  We’ll leave the light on…and be waiting to show you around.