A lease amendment form is a fill-in-the-blank legal template that allows tenants or landlords to make official changes to a rental agreement.
However, note that a lease amendment will NOT 🙅♂️ hold up in court unless both the landlord and the tenant agree to the changes and sign and date the document in the presence of a witness.
Therefore, barring specific circumstances in which landlords are allowed to make changes on their own, such as with 30 days’ notice for month-to-month renters, a lease amendment template should only be used after the parties have agreed to the changes.
Furthermore, lease amendments are not necessarily the appropriate approach for every situation. For example, the legal action a landlord must take against a tenant who refuses to pay rent cannot ❌ be satisfied with a lease addendum.
That being said, there are several circumstances in which a lease amendment template is a great 👍 option for tenants or landlords!
More specifically, the following are a few of the most common situations that require a lease amendment to officially change a rental agreement:
Oftentimes, original leases represent only the state of the property upon initiation of the rental agreement. In other words, the lease for an individual who moved into an apartment with no pet will most likely state that no pets reside on premises.
However, this does not necessarily imply that a pet 🐕 cannot be added to the lease unless the landlord has otherwise stated that no pets are allowed in the rental.
Thus, if the current lease allows for a pet, it will most likely provide the provisions in the appropriate clause. If this information seems to be missing from your rental agreement, be sure to consult your landlord for more information before investing in a pet.
That being said, even if a tenant plans on purchasing a pet that adheres to the lease’s provisions, they must still present the landlord with a proposed pet amendment 📋 BEFORE bringing the pet into the rental.
More specifically, the proposal should include the type, size, and temperament of the pet, as well as any other required details specified in the existing lease.
Also, tenants should ensure the landlord signs and dates ✍️ the lease amendment detailing the addition of a pet in front of a witness so the document holds up in court.
✳️ Adding/removing a tenant
If a tenant wants to add or remove someone from their lease, they will have to propose the change to the landlord first.
Tenant additions and removals are common for multi-bedroom rentals and couples.
For example, if a couple 👯 living together were to end their relationship, the tenant who will remain in the rental would have to draft an amendment to remove their ex from the lease.
Therefore, once a tenant has decided to add or remove a co-tenant, they must speak with their landlord to determine what changes will have to be made to the lease.
Common clauses that will be affected by this change include each tenant’s share of rent 💸, an increase in security deposit, and the visitor policy.
However, note that the lease amendment provides the landlord the opportunity to make extensive changes to the terms of the lease. As a result, tenants must always be sure to carefully review 🔍 the lease amendment BEFORE signing the document.
✳️ Early termination
Tenants who need to vacate their rental early should study their lease for any clauses that could help them make the process easier.
For example, all rental agreements should have an assignment and subletting clause 📜 that outlines the landlord’s policy on subleasing. While some landlords allow subletting with or without their permission, others forbid subletting under all circumstances.
However, in the case that a tenant must end their rental agreement prematurely, they may request an amendment to a subletting clause.
For instance, a tenant may ask 🙏 their landlord to make an exception and allow a subletter to replace them when they move out in order to avoid further rent payments. In this case, if the landlord were to allow a subletter, the tenant could use a lease amendment form to outline the new agreement and have the landlord sign and date.
That being said, if subletting is not an option, tenants can still propose other lease amendments to an early termination clause.
Oftentimes, especially in extenuating circumstances, landlords are flexible and willing to change the required fees and rental payments for early termination. Plus, a tenant who takes initiative to draft an amendment proposal themselves is even more likely to get the help they need 👍.
✳️ Rent forgiveness
Sometimes, if tenants run into financial problems such as the loss of a job, landlords are willing to create a rent forgiveness lease amendment.
This legal document outlines an agreed-upon provision for pausing rent payments for a specified period of time 📆. For example, if requested by a furloughed tenant, a landlord may agree to pause rent charges until the tenant finds another job.
Under these circumstances, a landlord may use a DIY lease amendment form to detail the new agreement. This document would include important information such as the dates of rent forgiveness and a required pay-by date.
As long as the tenant, landlord, and a witness sign and date the document, the tenant will automatically be released from all liability for rental payments 💰 during the specified period.